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Author
Comment
Heidi Anne Heiner
ezOP
(9/8/07 6:36 pm)


Remembering Madeleine L'Engle
I just wanted to take a moment to voice my own love and appreciation for Madeleine L'Engle at her passing this week. She was one of the first authors to influence me and my love for language, faith and science fiction. I don't have any profound things to say--she said them all for herself in her long life--but I am grateful for the grace of her life, her perserverance in writing and living.

My ability to voice my love for the fantastic began with reading A Wrinkle in Time at at age 10. I had thought I was growing too old for fanciful things--no one in my family or circle of friends read that kind of stuff. Her work as well as my discovery of Robin McKinley's work a few years later helped me understand that one did not outgrow the fantastic, but chose to abandon it. The libraries were not well-stocked and without the internet and other helps, I was always searching for "more books like these." I eventually found them and made it part of my life to help others find them, too.

I had the opportunity to meet Madeleine twice, once at a bookstore and another time at a writer's retreat when she was the Writer in Residence with Victoria Magazine. The weekend was intense and emotional--I was a newlywed ending my formal schooling and starting my career, practically paralyzed at the thought of reading anything I wrote aloud to Madeleine. I was thrilled at the prospect of meeting one of my living heroes, but I wasn't eager to share my own unsure prose with her. I was young and had much to learn--still do--but I learned more about myself than about Madeleine that weekend. Or rather, I learned that I knew myself better than I thought I did, but still had many surprises in store. I already knew as much about Madeleine as she was ever going to share through her many books. I also learned she was sincere and generous, compassionate and insightful, as I dared to share my words with strangers and a personal hero. It was a beautiful weekend, one I will always cherish.

SurLaLune Fairy Tales, by the way, blossomed later that same year.

And so, Madeleine, may you have joy in your new journey, free from the withering body that pained you these last several years. Thank you for your generosity, your willingness to admit weakness and doubt, your joy in living that was tempered with suffering.

You are missed.



moonway
Registered User
(9/10/07 3:55 pm)


Re: Remembering Madeleine L'Engle
Last year I rented the DVD of "A Wrinkle In Time" which was made for TV in 2003. It was, I think, a good rendition, but in the extra material was a good interview with l'Engle. It's worth seeing.

Kaleigh Way

kristiw
Registered User
(9/10/07 4:40 pm)


Re: Remembering Madeleine L'Engle
Heidi, I was so moved by your post-- I hadn't heard of Madeleine L'Engle's passing. I had the privilege to meet her once, at a reading and book signing in San Diego, and I remember shaking her hand and then mentally filing it away with significant occurrences because I knew, with the informed conviction of a lifelong bibliophile, that she was one of the Enduring authors. She had such a fantastic (in both senses) disregard for genre boundaries and a sensitivity for how to cross-pollinate history, anthropology and mythology, to season science with speculation. I always loved her short stories especially, finding that the mind-crackling proliferation of ideas was best taken in mouthfuls. I know I'm going to read them differently now.
Thank you for sharing the news with so much grace.
-Kristi

Van45us
Registered User
(9/14/07 12:24 pm)


Re: Re: Remembering Madeleine L'Engle
I wasn't aware of this, either. A truly great, classic author. I'm glad, at least, to see her books still enjoy a decent sized portion of the shelves in the YA section of bookstores. Not being a Christian, I learned at an early age that both she and C.S. Lewis could cover that ground with style, interest, and poignancy. I'm very sorry to hear she's gone. :(

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