Goodbye, Ms. L'Engle, You'll Be Missed

Very sad last night to hear of the passing of Madeleine L'Engle. She has always held a very special place in this reader's heart, as her book, A Wrinkle in Time, was the first sci-fi/fantasy-type book I ever read, and she literally opened up a new world to me that I had no idea existed. I was a skinny little girl from the back woods of Louisiana, and as you can imagine there wasn't a lot of Asimov or Bradbury on our library shelves. One day, however, my teacher offered up as a prize in a math quiz a little paperback she'd gotten as a class bonus from Scholastic. It had a picture of a centaur on the front, and when my turn came to choose a prize from the box, I picked up that book, intrigued. When I started reading it I was astonished and delighted, but most of all, I felt like Meg and Charles Wallace lived in a world that I knew, a world where you were considered "weird" if you were smart and slightly isolated from everyone else. In Meg and Charles Wallace, I found my long lost sister and brother.

In the obituaries I've read about Ms. L'Engle, she is always described as a Christian author, which I suppose she was, but I never felt her work to be preachy. She conveyed her vision of Christianity as a fundamental battle of good vs. evil, light vs. dark, rather than dogma. Even now, when my own faith has faded and drifted away, I can read her books and agree with much she had to say. She was the best kind of teacher. Shine on, Meg.

08 September 2007


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