Madeleine L'Engle, R.I.P.

Madeleine L’Engle has passed away. NYT:

Madeleine L’Engle, who in writing more than 60 books, including childhood fables, religious meditations and science fiction, weaved emotional tapestries transcending genre and generation, died Thursday in Connecticut. She was 88.

I remember reading A Wrinkle in Time when I was younger but it has been a long time. I feel like I should re-read some of her work to see if I might appreciate it more now. Of course, soon I will be reading such books to my daughter. That is the beauty of these types of works.

She seems to have been a writer through and through:

Her deeper thoughts on writing were deliciously mysterious. She believed that experience and knowledge are subservient to the subconscious and perhaps larger, spiritual influences.

“I think that fantasy must possess the author and simply use him,” she said in an interview with Horn Book magazine in 1983. “I know that is true of ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ I cannot possibly tell you how I came to write it. It was simply a book I had to write. I had no choice.

“It was only after it was written that I realized what some of it meant.”

And as it seems with so many famous authors, it was almost not to be:

What turned out to be her masterpiece was rejected by 26 publishers. Editors at Farrar, Straus and Giroux loved it enough to publish it, but told her that she should not be disappointed if it failed.

Thank God for FSG! And thank God for Madeleine L’Engle.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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