"Our truest responsibility to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find the truth."
"You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children."
~Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007), American writer, author of A Wrinkle In Time.
I was a serious fan of Ms. L'Engle, from A Wrinkle in Time and sequels and offshoots (one of which landed me in trouble with my mom who saw the book cover art of a girl and boy swimming with dolphin - I mean, Seriously! - and she assumed wrongly racy content) to A Severed Wasp, the first adult L'Engle novel I read that knocked my socks off (because the protagonist criss-crossed many times over the lines between love and loyalty and betrayal, in my young mind).
I remember the strong sense of good vs. evil I learned from A Wrinkle in Time stories. Meg, the twins, what was the boy's name, Calvin? I had better re-read it soon because I'm teaching it (we bought a team set, hurray!) this year. The main characters were so Smart, it seemed to me, and I loved their transformation of Smart to Wise through their adventures.
I felt a special connection with Ms. L'Engle because she associated with the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in my old stomping grounds of Morningside Heights on the upper west side of Manhattan.
Newspaper article about her death and life quoted her opinion of Harry Potter as "a nice story but it has nothing underneath it" - did she really say that?! If so, I hope she had only read The Sorcerer's Stone, perhaps. Maybe now she can catch up...
I'm going to miss her. Good time to revisit those young adult classics.