Friday, September 7, 2007

Tribute to Madeline L'Engle

Madeline L'Engle, the author of A Wrinkle in Time (1963 Newberry Award Winner) died yesterday at her home in Connecticut at the age of 88. A Wrinkle in Time (and the follow-up book, A Wind in the Door) was probably one of my favorite childhood books. It follows a girl, Meg, bookish and odd, a girl who feels out of place, who is fierce and devoted to her younger brother, Charles. It is about traveling through time, about fantasy, about the power of stubornness and doing the right thing even when it's hard. It gave me inspiration, as I'm sure it gave millions of other young girls and boys inspiration to imagine another world--to believe in the power of stories and imagination and creativity.

I never really read any other works by Ms. L'Engle. She was prolific, mostly writing young adult fantasy works. If you want to read an article about her life and works, go to this New York Times article (click here).

I don't know that she has anything to do with the topic of this blog--mixed race--but she has everything to do with the power of stories (which was the topic I was going to blog about--so more on that for a later post). Her stories, her ability to imagine other worlds, are powerful. And it reminds me, again, of how important narrative is--how important stories are, to give meaning to our lives.

In fact, let me end this tribute with the words of Ms. L'Engle herself on why stories matter:

"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."

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