Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Anniversary of Passing of Madeleine L'Engle

It has been one year since the death of the writer Madeleine L'Engle. She was my favorite writer when I was growing up. Last year I posted the following on my now defunct Shakabaz Blog and I want to post it here today to remember this magnificent spirit. Here's what I wrote when I first heard the news:

Yesterday I heard the news of Madeleine L'Engle's passing. I still remember the first time I read A Wrinkle In Time when I was a little girl. I finished the book and then opened it up to the first page and simply read it all again. I was transported. I had finally found a heroine, a real heroine, who was not just a prop to a boy hero, and I identified with her. Geeky, glasses, smart, shy, making it all up as she went. I think a million or more little girls read this book with a tremendous sigh of relief -- finally, we said to ourselves.
I fell in love with the Murrays. And the Austins. I traveled The Moon By Night, I swam with the dolphins in Ring of Endless Light. As an adult, I read Two-Part Invention. I read A Wrinkle In Time aloud to my stepsons, then my daughter, then each of my sons in turn. My youngest made me read it to him a second time. I have never read any book aloud to children as many times as that. And I could do it again in a heartbeat.
Madeleine L'Engle's positive vision of love and compassion, of the collective power of the good in all of us to make the world right, stays with me. I cannot think of another writer who has done anymore than Madeleine L'Engle to make the world a better place. It is with great sadness that I mark her passing and force myself to accept the fact that she will not pen another word. Continue on your journey ML, we will miss you here on earth.

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