Friday, November 22, 2013


Not only is today the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, but on this same day in 1963 two other great men of the 20th century died, Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis. When I heard about Kennedy's death, I was in a high school class (I don't remember which one), and the principal announced the event over the PA system. The next few days were dominated by nonstop television coverage of the assassination and its aftermath. My mother idolized the Kennedys, especially Jacqueline, so our TV stayed on all weekend. I'm pretty sure I had read BRAVE NEW WORLD by then. As a preteen, I had definitely read and enjoyed a couple of the Narnia books. The life-changing experience of reading the rest of Lewis's works, though, didn't happen to me until about a decade later. So even if I'd seen an obituary for either of those authors on an inside page of the local newspaper, I wouldn't have taken much notice.

An incisive little book, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL, by Peter Kreeft, imagines a conversation among Kennedy, Huxley, and Lewis immediately after death in a sort of celestial waiting room. I highly recommend it.

In case you haven't read 11/22/63, Stephen King's monumental, exhaustively researched time travel novel about the Kennedy assassination, I recommend that, too. Its time travel rules have a twist I haven't seen anywhere else, and the result of the hero's journey into the past doesn't turn out in any of the ways one would expect.

Margaret L. Carter

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