Monday, September 10, 2007

In Memoriam - Madeleine L'Engle

I read the appreciation today in the Post about Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time. I didn't know she died last Thursday. She is the only person I've actually wrote a fan letter to (bloggers not included) and I got a very nice form letter with a nice note from the author.

The Wrinkle in Time series was mindblowing. Reading about someone who was socially awkward and intelligent was like reading my own experience on the page. Meg Murry was my id because she was sullen, impatient, bitchy, and short tempered. All of those emotions roiled inside me as a child and I rarely had a chance to express them. In Wrinkle, not only are Meg's faults acceptable, they're valuable.

A New Yorker article came out a few years back on Madeleine L'Engle and her penchant for turning the truth of her life into fiction and fictionalizing the the truth of her life. It was hard to hear that she how much of her life she used for her craft and how much of her autobiography was fictionalized. But it made an icon human, which is part of growing up.

Her later works were difficult as her adult women seemed to have all of their rough edges smoothed out but I still read every single L'Engle book because I loved her gentle and loving take on humanity.

I read that she was working on a book that would show more of Meg Murry as an adult and give us a chance to see Meg's inner life. I'm sad I won't know how Meg turned out.


rebecca 1.0 said...

i'm sooo glad you posted on this otherwise i wouldn't have known about her passing. her books were a staple of my young adult readership. and then kinda adult rediscovering.

Lyra said...

Yeah, I read about that too...I grew up with her Wind in the Door series...loved it, loved it. A lot deeper than a lot of the teen and childrens books you see around, and than all the pink tinged "chik lite" crap too.