Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Madeleine L'Engle (1918 – 2007)

Madeleine L'Engle dies at the age of 88. I happened to check Fandom Lounge, saw this, and my mouth fell open for some reason. I loved L'Engle, although I haven't gotten through half as many books as I'd like. I even saw her speak when I was in seventh or eighth grade (which must have been in the neighborhood of 1992-1993); I was a library aide at school, and the librarians took all of us to see her when she was in town. I want to say she spoke in a church, because I seem to remember sitting with the other aides in a balcony. I was surprised by how she looked--like a very cheerful energetic grandmother, a grandmother who might go climb a mountain when she was finished with her speaking engagement. In fact, I think she talked about penguins and the Antarctic, and I notice that some ten years after that, Penguins and Golden Calves: Icons and Idols in Antarctica and other Spiritual Places was published.

For some reason, A Swiftly Tilting Planet was my favorite book in the Time Quartet as a kid--yes, over A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door, although I loved the covers of all my copies--but A Ring of Endless Light was probably my favorite overall. I remember reading it one bright summer, a summer that "Red Red Wine" was on the radio all the time (although really, that could be many different summers), and I always associate the two. If I'm reading the book, I hear the song; if I hear the song, I think of the book, and that light, white afternoon I finished it in my little upstairs room with the roof shaped like a barn's.

Just something to leave you with, from that news link:
"In my dreams, I never have an age," she said. "I never write for any age group in mind. When people do, they tend to be tolerant and condescending and they don't write as well as they can write. When you underestimate your audience, you're cutting yourself off from your best work."
It's probably not the most profound thing a very profound writer ever said, but I believe it.

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Tags: books, deaths, writers
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