Monday, May 2, 2016

Yet One More Spring (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

The number of books written about C.S. Lewis are too numerous to count. Just when you think we have reached the limit of facets we can explore about him or his writings, a new book comes out with a new way of looking at him or his writings. Today, however, we will not be looking at a book about C.S. Lewis. Instead, we will look at a book about his wife, Joy Davidman. Davidman was an equally talented writer who did not get near the attention that Lewis did, and she still doesn't get that attention. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. has sought to rectify that and released two books about/by her. They are titled Yet One More Spring and A Naked Tree, and they complement their 2009 release Out of My Bone. Today, we will be looking at Yet One More Spring.

Yet One More Spring is not a biography of Joy Davidman, but a study of her works. It was written by Don W. King, who has edited numerous works of both Davidman and C.S. Lewis. There is a brief introduction, which discusses how she was an award-winning poet and the many places her poetry was published. King then explains his method in writing this book, why he chose to approach her work chronologically, and his aim for this book. In summary, he hopes this book will expose more to her writings and get her recognized as one of the great American writers of the 20th Century.

The first chapter is devoted to her early writings, and by early I mean her writings from age 14 to 23. The next chapter solely focuses on her work "Letter to a Comrade," which was very political in nature. This leads to the next chapter of this book and her life, where she switched gears from fiction to nonfiction by writing reviews (film, book, theater) for the American Communist Party (CPUSA).She also served as a poetry editor for a young American Communist who died early of tuberculosis. Chapter Four discusses her move to Hollywood and working for MGM studio. This ultimately proved to be one of her biggest career mistakes, as she ultimately rejected the culture of Hollywood and everything it stood for. This chronology continues until we reach her love sonnets to C.S. Lewis and the final chapter, which talks about all the works she continued to develop well after her last published work.

Reading through this work provided an interesting literary history of an author/writer/poet, who I only ever knew of by name. It's no surprise that her life was reflected in her writings, but it was refreshing that her history was not whitewashed, and we got to see her work develop with the many life experiences that shaped her. I particularly liked the chapter which touched on her love sonnets to C.S. Lewis, and I have decided to tackle reading those in the book A Naked Tree. If you are looking to learn more about a great writer who was more than just the wife of C.S. Lewis, then I recommend you pick up a copy of Yet One More Spring.

This book was provided to me for free by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!