A Grief Observed

A Grief Observed

by C. S. Lewis
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A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

In April 1956, C.S. Lewis, a confirmed bachelor, married Joy Davidman, an American poet with two small children. After four brief, intensely happy years, Lewis found himself alone again, and inconsolable. To defend himself against the loss of belief in God, Lewis wrote this journal, an eloquent statement of rediscovered faith. In it he freely confesses his doubts, his rage, and his awareness of human frailty. In it he finds again the way back to life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553235395
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/21/1976

About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and have been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales más importantes del siglo veinte y podría decirse que fue el escritor cristiano más influyente de su tiempo. Fue profesor particular de literatura inglesa y miembro de la junta de gobierno en la Universidad Oxford hasta 1954, cuando fue nombrado profesor de literatura medieval y renacentista en la Universidad Cambridge, cargo que desempeñó hasta que se jubiló. Sus contribuciones a la crítica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantástica y teología popular le trajeron fama y aclamación a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribió más de treinta libros, lo cual le permitió alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aún atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada año. Sus más distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las Crónicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.

Date of Birth:

November 29, 1898

Date of Death:

November 22, 1963

Place of Birth:

Belfast, Nothern Ireland

Place of Death:

Headington, England


Oxford University 1917-1923; Elected fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford in 1925

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Grief Observed 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
C.S. Lewis put into the writing the very things I felt, but could not express, in my own grief. I felt less alone - less hopeless after getting a glimpse into another Christian's pain and suffering. It is a short book - a collection of random thoughts he jotted down after his wife died of cancer. Easy for someone grieving to read, as concentrating is often difficult at such times. I underlined half the book, I found it so relevant to my own situation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found my husband and son murdered, most books on grief I tried to read were useless and trite. This is the only one that even came close to describing the pain I felt and how totally lost I was.
Guest More than 1 year ago
C. S. Lewis was a great thinker, but in this book, he is entirely human. Unafraid to face the baffling questions we face when dealing with grief, Lewis goes on a heartfelt search for a faith that can withstand the deepest travails. A very fast read, but a life affirming one. I have found it difficult to find books that really speak to the journey of grieving, but this one is up to the task.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
C.S. Lewis captures the process of grieving in such an amazing way. The culmination of his experience where he learns he must move his loss of his wife from his head to his heart is certain to provoke others on a similar journey to make this life altering change.
hyunlee More than 1 year ago
Prior to reading this short book, I read the Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis, which addressed the intellectual, philosophical aspects. But as he notes in the introduction to that book, "[W]hen pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all." In Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis writes with brutal honesty the subjective experience of pain that he feels at the loss of his wife. And by the end, I got the sense that he really understood, really experienced what it meant to love God through our pain. I believe that this book will be helpful to those who may be experiencing suffering in their lives. It may also help those who are trying to help those who are suffering.
julie37619 More than 1 year ago
A Grief Observed was originally written under a pseudonym (N.W. Clerk) and is a chronicle in journal form of the emotions experienced by Lewis after the death of his wife from bone cancer. It is haunting and beautiful and heartbreaking all at once. If you've lost a loved one, there is something in this book that you can identify with. It's a fairly quick read, if you read it straight through. I think I spent a total of about 45 minutes on the entirety. However, this isn't a book that you read once, straight through and put away. I will be keeping this one on my shelf and pulling it out for days (and years) to come. I can already tell it's going to be like his others - books that I enjoy over and over again and gain something from every time I pick them up. I particularly appreciated (enjoyed isn't a word you'd want to use to describe this type of book, although it is so beautiful it's hard to say I didn't enjoy it) the way we see Lewis progress through his doubt. If you weren't aware, Lewis was a Christian and this book chronicles how he reconciles a loving God with the suffering and death of his dear wife. The book is divided into four parts, and Lewis progresses through anger at God, questioning of his faith, and the hurt from well-meaning friends quoting cliches in an effort to comfort him. The foreward by Madeleine L'Engle perfectly describes the book. She writes about how your experience with grief may not be the same as Lewis's, but you can identify with what he writes no matter how your experience differs. A Grief Observed is intensely personal, and makes no effort to document the human experience of grief or make any broad statements about the state of grief. Rather, it details one person's experience with the loss of his beloved. It is beautiful and touching and I promise you will not be sorry you read it.
JJ-Money More than 1 year ago
Through the use of journals, A Grief Observed invites the reader into the mind of a grieving C.S. Lewis as he struggles in dealing with the tragic death of his wife. The four separate entries all portray the various stages of anguish that Lewis endures; as well as his constantly changing mindset as he draws certain beliefs into question. At the beginning of the book, the reader is met with a harsh criticism of religion and faith as Lewis criticizes God himself. He accuses God of being cruel and abandoning people when they need him the most. However, as the journals progress, the effects that grief has on Lewis's mind become more evident. Lewis slowly becomes a, "saner man" as his sorrow begins to fade. His thoughts become more reasonable throughout the story, and he even regrets making some of the harsh accusations he made previously in the journal. Ultimately, by the end of the book, the reader is able to sympathize with Lewis in his difficult struggle in dealing with his wife's tragic death from cancer. A Grief Observed isn't written like a traditional piece of nonfiction literature. As a matter of fact, the basic and simplified manner in which it is written actually adds to the experience of the reader. It gives the audience a clearer and more realistic view of some of the different emotions that Lewis was feeling during his grieving process. Personally, I read the book in one sitting and found it to be an easy read. As a fan of C.S. Lewis's fiction material, such as The Chronicles of Narnia, it was very interesting to see the author deal with a real-life situation, and read his mixed thoughts and feelings regarding the tragedy. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the reading the book. However, while most of the text was relatively easy to read, I did find that a few passages proved to be repetitive at times. For instance, in certain passages, Lewis repeats many of his same thoughts and tends to ramble on, but it is hard to criticize him for writing his honest feelings. Ultimately, I would recommend this book to anyone who has recently suffered from the loss of a loved one as I found this book to be comforting to read.
Lorie Swisher More than 1 year ago
C. S. Lewis dares to rant, rave, question and complain. I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this a month after my own wife's death. I found Lewis's sharing of his grief to be comforting.I found his honesty to be refreshing. You do not needto be a Christian or religious to benefit from this book. I also enjoyed the afterword by Walsh. It helped to put Lewis's book into the context of his life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every line was exactly what I was trying to get out, to explain, to understand myself.  I felt someone was in my mind, accurately getting my thoughts and feelings and observations out on paper.  It was such a relief to read...knowing I had not gone crazy, and was not alone!
LandMime More than 1 year ago
C.S. Lewis expresses his grief no-holds-barred. Very realistic in expressing the despair, anger, and huge questions regarding suffering and why. His conclusions are not crystal clear as is the mystery of life itself not comprehendible, but it is a comfort to know someone has written so powerfully regarding loss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an achingly honest, raw, and heart-felt cry of pain that mirrors the experience of anyone struggling with grief and loss. The writing is lyrical, the emotions beautifully expressed. While he pulls no punches, the conclusion is utterly satisfying. Written by one of the greatest minds in history, it was a great comfort to me when I needed it the most.
perhaps More than 1 year ago
An honest look at grief and shows that he is "real". Really helped me deal and take a look at how I really feel about my grief and to be honest about it. A book for those grieving and ready to work on it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CS Lewis' reflections and thoughts are beautifully and insightfully drawn. This work is more than a starting point for the hardship of gripping with what comes after death. Insightful.
Ph4D More than 1 year ago
The works of C.S. Lewis are remarkable in their volume as much as their depth. Lewis is not afraid to explore the difficult and reason within his faith for solutions. His discussions and prepositions are remarkably candid, taking so much in to introspect while not shrinking from faith or foundations. The read is more than helpful for life, whether one is dealing with grief or not. The truths are universal and applicable to life and death. His writing is as timeless as it is provocative. Few times in his in works is his heart more exposed.
Sarah_in_USA More than 1 year ago
Just what my husband needed when his mother passed away. What else can I say?
Anonymous 15 days ago
Very relaxing...
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After mourning the loss of my husbsnd for three years and for every step forward moving three back, this book may have just saved my life. I felt the same feelings, questioned God with the same questions. And C S Lewis answered them all with such clarity doubt has left my mind. Thank You.
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