Another Loss: Madeleine L’Engle


“Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith. Faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”–Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007)

More bad news on the fiction front. I just got word that Madeleine L’Engle has died. Her website has not made an announcement yet, but The New York Times ran an obituary today. A Wrinkle in Time blew my mind when I read it as little girl. It was great to have a book with a female heronie–Meg Murry–with glasses and braces who beats up boys and is good at math and saves the world and gets the guy in the end. And who can forget that giant pulsating brain? Or Aunt Beast? Or Charles Wallace, the super intelligent five year old? Or Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which? I re-read the book a few months ago, to get some idea of how L’Engle structured her plot, and was amazed at how forward thinking the language is. The book was written in 1962, but it still feels very modern. Years ago I met her at a reading, and she signed in my copy “Tesser Well.” I hope she is off tessering somewhere, slipping from planet to planet. Her books are an inspiration, and have brought enormous solace to geeks across the world.

One thought on “Another Loss: Madeleine L’Engle

  1. Madeleine L’Engle made me want to be not only a writer, but a scientist. It’s true that we feel obscenely loyal to the books we loved as a kid. Madeleine L’Engle’s tales about the Murry family, E.L. Konigsburg (From the Mixed Up Files of Miss Basil E. Frankweiler), Lloyd Alexander and Antoine De Saint Exupery were my J.K. Rowlings, and I will always be thankful they wrote the books they did.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *