07 September 2007

Another Blow from 2007

This one doesn't strike as close to home, but it's still awful news: author Madeleine L'Engle has died at the age of 88.

Her books (although not A Wrinkle in Time, the one she is best known for) defined my childhood. I wanted to be just like her heroines: multilingual, musical, intellectual, independent, a lover of travel. I read her books over and over, something I almost never do.

How many times do I have to say it: ENOUGH ALREADY 2007!

23 comments:

Knock Me Up said...

Oh, I loved her books too. Sad news indeed. However, if we want to look at the bright side -- maybe her heirs will find a whole stash of manuscripts she'd written and stuck in her attic thinking they weren't good enough -- oh to dream a grand dream.

OTRgirl said...

I was fortunate to be able to hear her speak once. She was vivacious, smart and very funny.

She and her husband hated waking up early, so they just put their kids on an adult schedule and went to sleep at 2 am and woke up later. It just seemed to fit her willingness to 'color outside the lines'.

Rev Dr Mom said...

One of my very favorite authors. Which book was your favorite?

Snickollet said...

Rev. Dr. Mom:

I loved the Austin family series: Meet the Austins, The Moon by Night, and A Ring of Endless Light. Poly O'Keefe, from Arm of the Starfish etc., was my teenage role model.

But I also love the Katherine Forrester books (The Small Rain, etc.)

I've not read much of her nonfiction. Must put that on the "To Read" list.

What's your favorite? Other commenters, what about you?

k&p said...

I loved the Austin family stories. When I was in my teens we lived on the beach with my grandparents. I began to identify with Vicky and I always hoped that she would appear as an adult in a book so that I could find out how her life turned out.

I have been reading your blog for a while...I am so sorry about your husband. I wish I could say something profound that would make it better, but I can only say that I am sorry.

Ck said...

A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favorite books ever. I read the whole Murry Family series. I re-read them constantly from the time I was ten throughout my teens. I also read and re-read the Austin family series as well. There was something so poignant and profound about her books.
She will be missed. She had no equal.

Rachel said...

I loved her books so much, especially A Wrinkle in Time and all the books about the Austin family. Like you, I identified with her heroines and wanted to be just like them. A sad day indeed.

BethGo said...

Oh, I loved "A Ring of Endless Light" too.

She was truly one of the greats.

Karyn said...

I went to college for marine biology because of A Ring of Endless Light.

Oh, I loved her books (still re-read them).

Sigh. Too much rain right now.

Karyn

soralis said...

I hope that the new year is easier on you. Hang in there there isn't much longer this year. Hugs

Lucky said...

She leaves behind a stunning legacy. I carry her book "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art" to all of my hospice sessions in case my patient is asleep while I am there. The book helps me get into a better state of presence.

buddha_girl said...

I'm with you on this one, Snick. She was an incredible writer whose books lined my shelves as a kid.

Now that I'm a teacher, I recommend her works to my students every year.

The Austin family is my favorite...

Rev Dr Mom said...

I love the Katherine Forrester books, too, especially A Severed Wasp. I also love Two Part Invention, which is the story of her marriage to Huge Franklin. And I really enjoyed A Live Coal in the Sea which was one of her later pieces of adult fiction. And all her kids books.

One of her nonfiction books, Penguins and Golden Calves was instrumental for me when I was having a crisis of faith. For some reason, though, it's one I've never reread--I wonder if it would speak to me as strongly now.

Cathy said...

The Rock that is Higher, Two Part Invention, and her adult novel Severed Wasp are three that I especially enjoyed.

It's like losing a friend. I posted about her on my blog as well.

millie said...

I was so sad to read that this morning. I soooo wanted to be Meg and find my own Calvin.

I must admit I also adored her husband, a soap opera star.

squab said...

Oh, I so agree with this post. She was hands down my favorite author from about age 10 to age 19 or 20. I really loved A Small Rain and A House Like a Lotus, but then I loved them all! I can't wait to introduce them to my daughter.

Anonymous said...

I was a big fan as well. Many years back - long before I ever knew him - my husband was lucky enough to meet her during a visit she made to his school. Apparently she gave a lecture, and then made them to sign her books, so we have a few autographed copies. She was definitely a unique author.

- A

Yankee T said...

((Snick))

Katherine said...

I too was sad to see that she died. I loved all her books - and I thought I'd read all of them. I did read all that the 3 different library systems I've lived in owned. But I see some unknown titles, so I guess I need to check on inter-library loan.

My favorites changed with my age. I need to introduce my 11 yo son to A Wrinkle in Time.

Menita said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVED Polly. Why do you think my DD's internet name is what it is?

r.a.w. said...

*sigh* That news hurt my heart as well.

Bring on 2008!

And I think I need to go find my copy of A Wrinkle in Time and re-read it...

janet said...

"a wrinkle in time" was my favorite. as a child, i wanted to tesser in the worst way. and i probably reread that last meg/charles wallace "i love you" scene a zillion times.

Kristin said...

I adore the "Time" books, and the "Austins" stuff, but when I was in grad school, I devoured the four books in "The Crosswicks Journals," and I go back to them often: "The Irrational Season" is a series of essays on the seasons of the church year. "The Summer of the Great-Grandmother" is about her family history going back many generations, and also about the end of her mother's life. And my favorite, "Two-Part Invention," about her beautiful marriage to actor Hugh Franklin, and his eventual death from cancer. When I finished it the first time, I just put the book down and wept. And I read a part to my sister (the segment when Hugh proposes to her) - and as I finished, she burst out, "SHUT UP!" - and I looked at her, and SHE was crying her eyes out. I don't envy her the terrible loss of her beloved, but I do hope that my husband and I look like that after 50 years.

I agree with cathy above, who says it was like losing a friend. I've often said that sometimes when I read her books, I have to remind myself that I don't actually know her, and she doesn't actually know me. It just seems that way because of the warmth in her writing.

She wrote a poem once about what heaven might be like: all her favorite authors and composers up on clouds doing their thing - this one arguing, that one conducting his orchestra until they got it right. I hope she's having a ball.