Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

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Harcourt Brace, 1955 - Biography & Autobiography - 230 pages
21 Reviews
In this book Lewis tells of his search for joy, a spiritual journey that led him from the Christianity of his early youth into atheism and then back to Christianity. This book, together with his early diary All My Road Before Me, form the closest thing we have to an autobiography.

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Review: Surprised by Joy

User Review  - Rob - Goodreads

I am not normally one to read biographies, let alone autobiographies. It always struck me as the height of arrogance to write and publish a book about yourself. Perhaps if I read more of them it would ... Read full review

Review: Surprised by Joy

User Review  - Ian Smith - Goodreads

Autobiographies of early life seem to fall largely into three categories. First, the entertainer; rose-spectacled reminisces which sometimes stretch the boundaries of credibility - Gerald Durrell ... Read full review

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About the author (1955)

C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis, "Jack" to his intimates, was born on November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. His mother died when he was 10 years old and his lawyer father allowed Lewis and his brother Warren extensive freedom. The pair were extremely close and they took full advantage of this freedom, learning on their own and frequently enjoying games of make-believe. These early activities led to Lewis's lifelong attraction to fantasy and mythology, often reflected in his writing. He enjoyed writing about, and reading, literature of the past, publishing such works as the award-winning The Allegory of Love (1936), about the period of history known as the Middle Ages. Although at one time Lewis considered himself an atheist, he soon became fascinated with religion. He is probably best known for his books for young adults, such as his Chronicles of Narnia series. This fantasy series, as well as such works as The Screwtape Letters (a collection of letters written by the devil), is typical of the author's interest in mixing religion and mythology, evident in both his fictional works and nonfiction articles. Lewis served with the Somerset Light Infantry in World War I; for nearly 30 years he served as Fellow and tutor of Magdalen College at Oxford University. Later, he became Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University. C.S. Lewis married late in life, in 1957, and his wife, writer Joy Davidman, died of cancer in 1960. He remained at Cambridge until his death on November 22, 1963.

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