07 September 2007

In Memoriam: Madeleine L'Engle

Obituaries of the amazing Madeleine L'Engle, who died last night, are beginning to appear on-line. The Associated Press obituary reports:

Although L'Engle was often labeled a children's author, she disliked that classification. In a 1993 Associated Press interview, she said she did not write down to children.

"In my dreams, I never have an age," she said. "I never write for any age group in mind. When people do, they tend to be tolerant and condescending and they don't write as well as they can write.

"When you underestimate your audience, you're cutting yourself off from your best work."

I, like so many others, was riveted by A Wrinkle in Time as a child. When I re-read it to The Boy many years later, I found that it had held up well. I still rate it high on the list of books I love and that have stayed with me all my life. Thankfully, though she has left us, her wonderful works will remain to touch each new generation that encounters them.

One of my favorite L'Engle quotes:
"It is not clever to underestimate yourself."

edited to add: The New York Times now has an obituary on-line.

1 comment:

Clare said...

Wow. I have been so disconnected from the world that I wasn't able to see this until today. This saddens me as well - I read quite a few of her books as a young adult.