Happy Birthday to Madeleine L’Engle, who would have turned 99 today. She is one of my favorite writers.
You know the question or similar varieties of the question, “If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?” One of the people on my list would be Madeleine L’Engle.
You know the topic of “name your top 10 books, or 20 books or top 100 books, etc.”? A Wrinkle of Time is on my list.
Do you think our top 10 or top 20 lists change over the years? I think some titles may change as the years go on. There are some books, though, that belong on our lists for our entire lives, don’t you think? At least, that is how my list is: some of it has changed as I’ve read more and am older, but some has not changed. I think I’m still figuring out what that list is, too.
A Wrinkle of Time, I believe, will always be on my list. This is one of those books that had such an impact on me when I first read it, I can’t see how it could change. In that book, I read the word “mitochondria” for the very first time, and whether or not it was true, it was all so intriguing, I decided, it didn’t even matter. There was a Mrs. Who, a Mrs. Whatsit, and a Mrs. Which. Then there were real kids like Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace (ok, he was unique). And there was the “It” and “The Black Thing.” That book, a unique combination of fiction/science fiction/spirituality and intriguing story was so much more than pure fiction; it was vivid, fascinating, imaginative, ingenious. I read and re-read it. I now know that book had a huge impact on many others as well, and is on many others’ book lists.
I wonder now: who else was writing books like that?
I read another of her books a few years ago called Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. What a beautiful book that was, and since I can’t seem to find my notes from that one, I need to re-read it. It’s so difficult to pick just one quote of hers from all of her writings, but I chose a couple from that book to add to that photo above.
And, I must have known she was a kindred spirit (to borrow a term from L.M. Montgomery), as here is another of her quotes. Only kindred spirits (or writers? creative types?) would understand or say something like this below.