Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis

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Abigail Santamaria

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The first full biography of Joy Davidman brings her out from C. S.Lewiss shadow, where she has long been hidden, to reveal a powerful writer and thinker.

Joy Davidman is known, if she is known at all, as the wife of C. S. Lewis. Their marriage was immortalized in the film Shadowlands and Lewiss memoir, A Grief Observed.Now, through extraordinary new documentsaswell asyears of research and interviews, Abigail Santamaria brings Joy Davidman GreshamLewis to the page in the fullness and depth she deserves.

A poet andradical, Davidman was a frequentcontributorto the communist vehicle NewMasses and an activemember of NewYorkliterary circles in the 1930s and40s. After growing up Jewish in the Bronx,she was an atheist, then apractitioner of Dianetics;sheconverted to Christianity after experiencing a moment of transcendent grace.A mother, a novelist, a vibrant and difficult and intelligent woman, she set off for England in 1952, determined to captivate the man whose work had changed her life.

Davidmanbecame the intellectual and spiritual partner Lewis never expected but cherished. She helped him refine his autobiography, Surprised by Joy, and to write his novel Till We Have Faces. Their relationshipbegun when Joy wrote to Lewis as a religious guidegrewfrom a dialogue about faith, writing, and poetry intoa deep friendship and atimeless love story.


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