Madeleine L'Engle died today. You may not know her name, but to an entire generation, the world she'd created with her Newbery Medal winning "A Wrinkle in Time," was as important to their lives as J.R.R. Tolkien was to those who loved "The Lord of the Rings."
Author Madeleine L'Engle, whose novel "A Wrinkle in Time" has been enjoyed by generations of schoolchildren and adults since the 1960s, has died, her publicist said Friday. She was 88. Link.
For those who are familiar with her work -- the brave, yet alienated adolescent, Meg Murry, her little brother, the odd genius, Charles Wallace, her friend, Calvin, whose popularity did not interfere with his humanity, the missing scientist father they had to travel across the universe to save while in the company of Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit, surely the three most unlikely angels in print, only to find that it was Meg who had to go in alone to face the terrifying representation of totalitarianism called, simply, IT, in order to retrieve her brother who had fallen to the dark side in the mistaken belief of his own invulnerability -- "A Wrinkle in Time" defined the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, courage and fear, judgment and fairness, being defined by one's actions and not by societal preconceptions, the power of love.
Madeleine L'Engle wrote more than sixty books, four of which tracked the adventures of Meg and Charles Wallace Murry. They won children's book awards, but to say they were written for children would be incorrect. Not only because Ms. L'Engle never wrote down to children, but because the themes Ms. L'Engle espoused are ageless, universal truths that are needed now more than ever and, although she often wrote with eye toward her deep Christian faith, it was a tolerant influence that allowed all faiths to find common ground in her work.
Good and evil, right and wrong, individualism, not judging by appearance, the impact of totalitarianism on everyday life.
Love.Madeleine L'Engle will be missed.
[Update] A recommended Madeleine L'Engle Huffington post.