“[A] daring and urgent book” (New York Times); “[N]ot for the theologically squeamish” (Christian Scholar Review); a “taught, grave, go-for-broke meditation” (huffpost.com); “[A] life-changing book” (Virginia Quarterly Review); “[O]ne book I’ll relentlessly recommend” (htmlgiant.com); apt to “become part of our literary-theological canon” (Books and Culture).
“It is a testament,” Kathleen Norris avowed in her 2013 review of My Bright Abyss for The New York Times, “to the human ability…to live and love more fully even as death draws near.” The writing “is coloured by [Christian] Wiman’s cancer diagnosis,” the reviewer for Shelf Love explains, “which brought death close.” She adds, “[H]e articulated ideas that I feel, but find hard to express.” National Public Radio described the book as “an exploration of his faith and life in extreme crisis.”
To read this book, Eastern Mennonite University professor of English R. Michael Medley warrants, “is to enter into another’s suffering with a kind of reverence.” It is, he observes, “a lyrical reflection on life and death; God’s presence and God’s absence….” After spending a decade as editor of Poetry magazine,” Wiman, who is himself an esteemed poet, is now professor of the practice of religion and literature at Yale Divinity School.
My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer
By Christian Wiman
Farrar, Straus and Grioux, 2013