Author(s): Christian Wiman
Eight years ago, Christian Wiman, a well-known poet and the editor of "Poetry" magazine, wrote a now-famous essay about having faith in the face of death. "My Bright Abyss," composed in the difficult years since and completed in the wake of a bone marrow transplant, is a moving meditation on what a viable contemporary faith--responsive not only to modern thought and science but also to religious tradition--might look like. Joyful, sorrowful, and beautifully written, "My Bright Abyss" is destined to become a spiritual classic, useful not only to believers but to anyone whose experience of life and art seems at times to overbrim its boundaries. How do we answer this "burn of being"? Wiman asks. What might it mean for our lives--and for our deaths--if we acknowledge the "insistent, persistent ghost" that some of us call God? One of "Publishers Weekly"'s Best Religion Books of 2013
Praise for "My Bright Abyss" "[Christian Wiman's] poetry and his scholarship have a purifying urgency that is rare in this world. This puts him at the very source of theology, and enables him to say new things in timeless language, so that the reader's surprise and assent are one and the same." --Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Gilead ""Every generation needs someone to write about faith as lucidly as Christian Wiman does in this 'meditation of a modern believer.'" --"The Wall Street Journal ""Christian Wiman's "My Bright Abyss "creates in the reader the keen, poetic attention of a man with a cancer diagnosis trying to remain fully present in his life. His spiritual ancestors are C. S. Lewis and Thomas Merton. Like Lewis, he's surprised by the joy of falling in love. Like Merton, he captures the smugness that can poison some atheists as it does some believers. This masterwork of doubt and faith, literature and theology, will affect nonbelievers and spiritual seekers alike." --Mary Karr, author of "Lit "and "The Liar's Club" "In another day and age, this book would be called a revelation, a mysticism, a holy text. What does it mean for a modern man to believe? In this extremely moving narrative, this question is asked with grace and fury, with astonishing eloquence and courage that only a few can equal in our time. It will be read for years and years to come." --Ilya Kaminsky, author of "Dancing in Odessa" "Forged from pain, like most masterpieces, "My Bright Abyss "provides an advanced course in applied mysticism for the twenty-first century." --Eliza Griswold, author of "The Tenth Parallel"" ""Christian Wiman has written a moving, thoughtful meditation on faith and poetry that is really a treatise on meaning: where we find it, what it offers us, whether it can mitigate pain. There's a luminous clarity in these pages, the kind that comes only when a writer is facing ultimate questions." --Meghan O'Rourke
Christian Wiman is the author of six previous books, most recently "Every Riven Thing "(FSG, 2010), winner of the Ambassador Book Award in poetry, and "Stolen Air: Selected ""Poems of Osip Mandelstam."