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Tribute To Madeleine L'Engle Writer Actress Teacher 1918-2007
You have been encouraging me since the fall of 1966. Meet the Austin's was the first book of yours I read. Vickie Austin and I could have been the same girl, We were same age, tall and gangly, I felt ugly and like I didn't fit anywhere. Losing myself in your books helped me navigate though adolescence and into a confident, loving women.
As I grew so did the characters in your books. When you wrote The Summer of the Great Grandmother you helped me navigate through my mothers death.
I understand you were not perfect. You mixed your family sometimes a bit too realistically into the characters of your novels. Knowing you did that taught me to protect family's privacy. Never sacrifice family confidences even for literary advantage.
Thank you so much.
Writers Make A Tremendous Impact On Children
Madeleine L'Engle made a tremendous impact on my life. She fueled my desire for travel as I traveled the world In The Arm Of The Starfish. She showed me what you are as a child is not what you will be later. (Meet The Austin's) Vicki Austin, tall, gangly and never knowing the correct thing to say was me exactly. The Murray family stimulated my love of science( A Wrinkle In Time). Her love of questions stimulated my desire to go beyond myself to ask questions.
My writing was inspired by Madeleine L'Engle.
Somewhere I read Madeleine would write descriptions of hotel rooms and places she visited to enable her to have an actual places she could envision her characters. I have tried to do that as well. When writing fiction, having actual locations in mind allow you to drop your characters into believable places, which will save you time.
Books By Madeline L"Engle
In 1966 classes still went to the library; there were still librarians. Librarians were the people full of facts and ideas. They could tell you everything you wanted to know, or where to find what you needed. In 1966 as a seventh grader at King Junior High in ; I was introduced to, a great writer, Madeleine L'Engle.. Oakland, California
I can still hear Mrs Schmidt the librarian as she began to read,
"It was a nice normal noisy evening."
Her voice made the alliteration bounce merrily along. These words from Meet the Austins, the first of Madeline L'Engle's books in the Austin Chronicles, lead me to read everything thing she wrote. I grew up with the Austins.
Madeleine L'Engle wrote the five Austin novels over a period of thirty years. In 1966 Meet the Austins was a New Berry Award winner, librarians were introducing to their pupils. In 1966 as a skinny, straggly haired girl, Vicki in Meet the Austin's and I met. Every Friday, I would carry as many books as I could home, so that I could go on adventure after adventure over the weekend. Many of those weekends were spent with Madeleine's characters.
Meet The Austins
Madeleine L'Engle wasn't always a Newbery Medal winner. Her first novel A Small Rain was published. Her second novel a Wrinkle In Time was written and sent from publisher to publisher receiving rejection notices for ten years. Published in 1965 Wrinkle was awarded a Newbery Medal.
Because she didn't give up on Wrinkle In Time I learned writing wasn't easy. Imagine 10 years of rejection. Once you have slaved over a piece getting published is hard work, you can't give up.
September 2007, she was gone. The amazing thing about a writer is they live on through their works. Years ago I heard someone describe Madeleine L'Engle as a master at themes. Setting out to see if that was true I was amazed how characters from one book or another showed up unexpectedly in whatever book I was reading. Her themes of hospitality and order show up in many of her stories. Even in her book The Summer Of The Great Grandmother, there is order and grace as she watches her mother, fail in body and memory. She always wrote as though she knew the characters. In many instances she did know her characters; Many of her characters were fashioned after people she knew, the way she wanted them to be, not necessarily the way they truly were..
In a tribute to their grandmother Madeleine's granddaughters wrote that grandmother incorporated every member of the family into her writing, She incorporated family members characteristics and mannerism into her characters. In the Summer Of The Great Grandmother, L'Engle herself said she while she used mannerisms and personalities from people she knew, she never could write about her father, there was too much emotion to write about him.
I have a unique religious background. The dialogue about death in Meet the Austins showed me that faith needed to be explored and embraced. I am almost embarrassed that a writer could have such effect on me. Then I learned that was why writers write. If they don't created a reason for someone to react to there work what is the point in writing.
Madeline L'Engle was married to an actor Hugh Franklin. They met and married while acting in a production of The Cherry Orchard. Hugh Franklin played Dr, Charles Tyler in All My Children. Madeline and Hugh were married forty years. I do believe Ms L'Engle helped form my ideas about marriage. I will have been married forty years to the same man in 2016.
Madeleine L'Engle was the writer that enthralled a thirteen year old girl and nurtured her when she didn't feel nurtured. Looking at my relationship with Madeleine L'Engle has shown me the responsibility a writer must take for her writing. Readers fall in love with characters, and stories. The stories I could tell about how I mimicked Madeline L'Engle's characters would make me blush. Madeline L'Engle is still influencing me as an author. She has set the bar high; I aspire to be like her as an author and woman who opened her home to all that were in need..
Thank You Madeleine.
Recently Published Book About Madeleine L'Engle
A new book about Madeleine L'Engle has just been published; Listening for Madeleine written by Leonard Marcus (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) looks to be a read for someone who wants to hear from her family and friends what they thought about her.
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