Sunday, September 09, 2007

Childhood heroes


I just learned today that one of the most beloved authors of my childhood, Madeleine L'Engle, passed away this week. I vividly remember reading A Wrinkle In Time for the first time at age eight. The book was a revelation, in the same way that Anne of Green Gables would be a year later or that The Secret Garden had been the year before. I was seduced by the story and the sheer process of story-telling, and I decided that year, I remember, that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

I also found myself captivated by Meg and Calvin, wondering what would happen between the two of them. See, even then I was a budding romantic! And I loved following their family through the rest of the books in the series. My pleasure on learning that they'd married when I read A Swiftly Tilting Planet was way beyond the interest any nine-year-old should have taken in the subject.

So pick up a L'Engle book in her honor, check out her obit in the NY Times, and let us know in the comments: What is your favorite Madeleine L'Engle novel, or your best-remembered early reading experience?

12 comments:

Martha said...

I'm not good at picking favorites, but I do know that A Wrinkle in Time was the first book I ever stayed up past 10 p.m. to finish.

Devon said...

That's too bad. Wrinkle in Time didn't make a huge impression on me actually. I remember there was one with dolphins (Ring of Endless Light?). I think it had sex in it too!

Some important childhood reads/authors: Judy Blume, John Bellairs, What Katy Did, The Children of Greeen Knowe, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Kate Diamond said...

It's funny. I didn't read A Wrinkle in Time until I was in college, for the GISP. I am unnatural, clearly.

But I very much remember that book from childhood, because it was on a spinner rack in the library and the cover really freaked me out.

Anneliese Kelly said...

Kate, I looked very long and hard online until I found the EXACT freaky cover that was on the addition froun our youth. It was a scary, scary thing.

Kate Diamond said...

TRAUMATIC!!!

Alexandra said...

It's time to nip over to Amazon...is she still in-print? Hmm...

KC said...

OH, yes! I loved A Wrinkle in Time, I was also very interested in what happened with Calvin and Meg. I was disappointed when the books skipped over their courtship.
I also remember Ring of Endless Light, that was my all time favorite of her books.
I don’t remember how old I was when I read her books but I know I made the librarian order everything she ever wrote!

Mel said...

My mom's been asking me what writer died recently. I've been clueless. I read Ring of Endless Light and now I'm sad. I loved that book. I think I still have it. I read it when I was a teenager.

Pam said...

I loved many of her books, but especially A Wind in the Door, the sequel to a Wrinkle in Time. I was fortunate enough to hear her speak once in college. (Long ago).

Katy said...

I still have the copy of A Wrinkle In Time with that freaky cover. Someone gave it to me as a gift, and it took me two years before I finally read it! After that I read everything I could find of hers. I love The Young Unicorns, The Arm of a Starfish, and all the Austen books. Her journals are great, too.
Sigh.

Devon said...

Re: freaky cover--was that the one with the thing with all the eyes and like feathers or fingers or something? I can remember that I avoided the books for a long time b/c the covers scared me

Sam said...

The freaky cover with the eyes was A Wind in the Door, actually. (I remember arguing with my mom repeatedly about whether it was "wind" like to wind a ball of yarn or "wind" like wind blowing through the trees.) The 1980s cover for A Wrinkle in Time was the kids riding the centaur with a rainbow coming out of his back.

(This has been brought to you by the Librarian With No Memory for Anything But Useless Book Information.)