Joy Davidman’s Conversion Story “The Longest Way Round”: Audio Narration and Doodle

In this Friday Feature I want to share a creative way to read Joy Davidman’s conversion story, “The Longest Way Round,” which you can find in various places online and in Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman, edited by Don W. King. Joy Davidman is an attractive and intriguing figure to study, and I have enjoyed books such as Lyle Dorsett‘s popular biography, And God Came In, Abigail Santamaria‘s critical biography, Joy, and Patti Callahan’s novel, Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis. While some of Davidman’s writings are hard to find and many of her papers are available only at archives like the Marion E. Wade Center in Wheaton, with online bookstores, digital sharing, and scholars like King (editor), Dorsett (oral historian), and Santamaria (biography), much of her life and work is available to us.

I have long admired the work of C.S. Lewis Doodle, and was pleased to see that the artist has taken up Joy Davidman’s conversion story. “The Longest Way Round” was first published in These Found the Way: Thirteen Converts to Protestant Christianity, edited by David Wesley Soper (1951). It is an unusual narrative. It is lively and incisive like Davidman’s Smoke on the Mountain (1954), but far less focussed and containing within it hints of sarcasm and whimsy. Davidman’s conversion story is influenced by C.S. Lewis, but reading this narrative will make you suspect that Lewis’ own conversion story, Surprised by Joy, is influenced by Joy’s story. And here it is in a visual form by this Lewis Doodler; I am unable to discern who has read the audio. I hope you enjoy!

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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23 Responses to Joy Davidman’s Conversion Story “The Longest Way Round”: Audio Narration and Doodle

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Thanks for this – I love those Doodles, but did not know of this one! Smoke on the Mountain is fun reading aloud, en famille – but I cannot quickly find if anyone has read it as an audiobook… This David Wesley Soper volume is not scanned in the Internet Archive, but others are, including Men Who Shape Belief: Major Voices In American Theology, Volume II (1955) – with a foreword that says “the substance of these lectures was given on the Oxford University Faculty of Theology – at Mansfield College during Trinity term, 1954”, and one is on Pittenger!


    • This was a surprise for me. Smoke on the Mountain aloud is great. I’ve been hoping someone would read the audiobook for some time. I suspect that the estate would approve of it, if well done. I’d love the New York accent, actually!


  2. successbmine says:

    Fascinating! I really enjoyed this. I shared it on my FaceBook profile and Twitter.


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