In this intimate, candid, and sometimes surprising community biography of the celebrated author and Christian apologist, twenty-four men and women who knew C.S. Lewis—as teacher, colleague, friend—offer their reminiscences and impressions of the complex man behind the critical and academic acclaim. Through their recollections, we see "Jack" Lewis dazzling Oxford as he takes on atheists, materialists, and a host of other challengers. Most poignantly, we see him in everyday settings: striding up and down the platform at a railroad station, presiding over leisurely dinners with students, expounding on the virtues of the pub. "The net effect of this collection," said the Catholic Review, "is to make us feel that we know Lewis as well as [his] friends." And to quote the New Yorker, "The heterogeneity of the contributors assures a variety of Lewises, but certain traits appear in all these accounts: intelligence, imagination, gusto, a sense of fun, and, most frequently, magnanimity."
"An unexpected delight."—Washington Post
"A grand banquet of personal insights."—San Diego Union
"An invaluable, indeed an indispensible, addition to the burgeoning sphere of Lewis scholarship."—Joseph Pearce, Author, C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church
James Como holds advanced degrees in medieval English literature (Fordham University) and in Language, Literature and Rhetoric (Columbia University) and is Professor of Rhetoric and Public Communication at York College of the City University of New York, where he has taught for over thirty-five years. A founding member of the New York C. S. Lewis Society (1969) and former editor of its bulletin, CSL, he has published ‘C.S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table’ and Other Reminiscences and articles on Lewis in such journals as National Review, Seven, and The Wilson Quarterly. In 1993 he visited the closed set of Richard Attenborough’s Shadowlands and interviewed the principals, after which he commented (not entirely favorably) on that film. Dr. Como also lectures widely on Lewis and other Christian authors, including “Moral Learning In and Out of Narnia,” the Thomas More Lecture on Learning, for St. Thomas More College in Fort Worth, Texas, and, most recently, “Congruent Christians,” one of a number of public of lecture series he had given at the Center for Christian Studies of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and elsewhere. He has also written on the novelist Mario Vargas Llosa and, more generally, on the political culture of Peru, where he has lived and visited with some frequency. He has also publishedBranches to Heaven: The Geniuses of C. S. Lewis (Spence). A Catholic and native New Yorker, Dr. Como (and his Peruvian wife) have two grown children and live in Westchester County.