Saturday, September 08, 2007
Madeleine L'Engle, 1918-2007
So much has been written about Madeleine L'Engle in the last couple of days, and although my first thought on reading the NY Times Obit was that she wouldn't have liked being classified as a Children's author, I do think it's a nice piece. You can read it here, unfortunately you have to log in.
It's easy to find out all about why Ms L'Engle was important to the world, but this is why she's so important to me:
Back in May of 1997, I’d been out of college for a year and was working for Borders. One of my very good friends from college had been a huge Madeleine L’Engle fan, so when I saw her latest book was available in hardcover, I snapped it up. I completely fell in love with the book and thought perhaps I could find some sites about L’Engle on the good ol’ world wide web. I found Bonastra.
I joined the discussion community and was thrilled to find others who love L’Engle’s writing. I had some questions about issues that were raised because of her writing, so I contacted the community “manager” because 1) I could tell he held beliefs similar to my own, 2) he seemed “wise”.
The manager, Chris, and I started emailing back and forth a couple times a week. I assumed, because of his writing style, that we was much older than me. I was a bit flustered when I discovered he was my own age exactly (23 at the time).
In September of that year, Chris made a trip from Indianapolis to the East coast and stopped at my parents’ home for an afternoon/evening. It was awkward, not at all romantic, but yet still interesting, to meet the person I had been writing to for 4 months. After this trip, there were many long phone calls, real letters and mix tapes (!!!) traveling between Indiana and PA.
In November, I made a trip to Indianapolis. It was during this trip (only the second time to meet IRL) that Chris and I decided to see if our weird online/long distance relationship could work.
In January, I moved to Indy, where I was transferred by Borders. Despite how it appears, we were in no real hurry. I lived with a family from his church, until I moved in with a friend. We got engaged in December of 1999 and were married in August of 2000. I met my best friend, lover and partner all because of Madeleine L’Engle.
I hope that children, youth and adults continue to read and pass down the love of her books. I hope that people read more than the typical "Time Quartet" and delve into some of her more obscure books (more on those in the next few days).
My husband just told me about another obit/memorial article here.
He would highly recommend it (I'm off to read it now).