Madeleine L’Engle, author of one of my favorite books ever, dies at 88

From Yahoo:

HARTFORD, Conn. – Author Madeleine L’Engle, whose novel “A Wrinkle in Time” has been enjoyed by generations of schoolchildren and adults since the 1960s, has died, her publicist said Friday. She was 88.

L’Engle died Thursday at a nursing home in Litchfield of natural causes, according to Jennifer Doerr, publicity manager for publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The Newbery Medal winner wrote more than 60 books, including fantasies, poetry and memoirs, often highlighting spiritual themes and her Christian faith.

Although L’Engle was often labeled a children’s author, she disliked that classification. In a 1993 Associated Press interview, she said she did not write down to children.

“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.”

OMG. Now, I am so sad.

It just so happens I returned two of Madeline L’Engle’s books — A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door — to the library on Tuesday. That series of books had such a profound effect on me. I could probably credit those books for stoking my interest in subjects like science and biology, and not simply boys, which is what so many other children’s books have for girls.

After I got the books from the library recently (I really shouldn’t have had to borrow Wrinkle, since I bought it and lent it to my pastor’s daughter, but haven’t seen it since), I looked up the most recent news on Madeline L’Engle. Her most recent interview seems to be with Newsweek, after Wrinkle was made into a TV movie. I don’t know about anyone else, but she seemed like a delight to interview.

On the movie, she said:

And did it meet expectations?
Oh, yes. I expected it to be bad, and it is.

And on God and having faith:

Such as?
Such as I sometimes think God is a s–t‚Äîand he wouldn‚Äôt be worth it otherwise. He‚Äôs much more interesting when he‚Äôs a s–t.

So to you, faith is not a comfort?
Good heavens, no. It’s a challenge: I dare you to believe in God. I dare you to think [our existence] wasn’t an accident.

Many people see faith as anti-intellectual.
Then they’re not very bright. It takes a lot of intellect to have faith, which is why so many people only have religiosity.

Reading that interview, it made me want to go out and interview her myself. I think it would have been so much fun.

Farewell Madeleine, see you in heaven!

Photo by the New York Times in 2001, via MSNBC

One thought on “Madeleine L’Engle, author of one of my favorite books ever, dies at 88

  1. FlutePrayer

    I devoured “A Wrinkle in Time” on one Christmas Day after receiving it as a gift from my parents when I was in 5th grade. Thanks for the post. I’m with you – so sad.

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