Saturday, September 08, 2007

Goodbye, Meg

There are only a few authors that I can say that I have been reading almost my entire life. C.S. Lewis is one. Another is Madeleine L'Engle whose book A Wrinkle in Time first captured my imagination when I was in grade school, and whose work I'm inspired by to this very day. Her book on faith and art, Walking on Water has especially meant a lot to me in recent years. She died Thursday at the age of 88. Meg, the protagonist of A Wrinkle in Time, and its sequels, is a literary character that has long stayed with me and with whom I identify Madeleine L'Engle with, as she did herself. The memory of both will no doubt continue to inspire, though Madeleine will be missed. Here's an excerpt from one of the many obituaries to appear in the last couple of days:

L'Engle was best known for her children's classic, "A Wrinkle in Time," which won the John Newberry Award as the best children's book of 1963. By 2004, it had sold more than 6 million copies, was in its 67th printing and was still selling 15,000 copies a year, the New York Times reported.

She had been the writer-in-residence and librarian at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

In November 2000, she told an interviewer for Religion and Ethics Newsweekly that suffering and grief are a part of life.

"In times when we are not particularly suffering, we do not have enough time for God," she said. "We are too busy with other things. And then the intense suffering comes, and we can not be busy with other things. And then God comes into the equation. Help. And we should never be afraid of crying out, ‘Help!' I need all the help I can get."

Goodbye, Meg.


Blogger angelmeg said...

I love her trilogy of journals, especially the one on the seasons of the church year.

She has a very compelling story about when she had a broken leg and her son-in-law who is an Episopalian priest said mass for her in her bedroom.

I too will miss her.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Thanks for posting this, Mark. I started re-reading A Severed Wasp this weekend. And Angelmeg's comment reminded me that my love for Madeleine's writing also led me to discover her son-in-law Alan Jones's writings. Much to revisit in the near future.

3:27 PM  

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