Friday, September 07, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle, 1918-2007

Wow, what do I even write about Madeleine L'Engle? I remember that her books were the first truly engrossing novels I ever read, at an age when teachers made reading into a chore and an obligation rather than what it really could be.

A friend of my mothers whom I'm still close to read me A Wrinkle in Time when I was ten. A chapter or two a day and we'd talk about it and really get into what she was writing about and what it might mean. My favourite experience with a book by far.

I don't even remember the overarching plots of the Murray trilogy, only a few very powerful and sometimes very freaky individual scenes, when Meg had to interrogate her school principal and his exact double to find who was the real one, getting into her head and trying to understand her reasoning. Or any description of Charles Wallace, the young boy who always seemed not of this world.

The fact that she wrote about young kids who were not sports stars or tough streetwise kids that you see in movies, but who were the socially awkward children of briliant scientist parents and unsure of themselves and mistrustful of authority but unsure of what to look to instead, was what made me start to feel like I wasn't so ill-fitting and maybe there were other people like me out there.

She spoke to the reader in exactl the way the person who read me A Wrinkle in Time speaks to kids, like they're people, fully capable of understanding the world around them, but without the baggage and prejudices that tangle up the paths of adults.

Tesser well, Ms L'Engle.

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By al - 9:04 PM |

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