Saturday, September 08, 2007

Tribute to Madeleine L'Engle

When I was a kid I read a lot. I moved from The Babysitter's Club to other children's paperbacks, including the kind published by Christian publishing houses. Even at a young age, those christian young adult books bothered me, they felt contrived and generally badly written. I had always had an ambition to be a writer - in fact, I can't remember a time when I wasn't working on a writing project. I used to use my parent's Apple II computer to write stories on my own personal floppy disc. I had an unarticulated fear that writers who were Christian were not very good, and since I was Christian, I also would be obligated to write this kind of fiction. When I began to read L'Engle's novels and found out she was a Christian, I was relieved. I also had a new ambition: to become a writer of her caliber.
As I grew older, I moved away from wanting to write fiction, but the beauty and conviction of writers like L'Engle still inspire me. I was encouraged when I was reading her obituary today that her most beloved books were written in her 40s and 50s. While my primary ambition is no longer to write in her genre, if I can someday inspire a little girl the way L'Engle inspired me, I will be very pleased with my life indeed.

1 comment:

the chickens' auntie said...

"A Wrinkle in Time" may have been the first sci-fi, fantasy book I read as a child and I still remember the feelings it evoked. It began a life-long love of books in that genre. At the time, I was totally unaware of her faith and don't think it would have made any difference to my enjoyment of the book, but I appreciate her writing all the more now because of it. I agree with you that Christian writing is often contrived, not very good and, in my opinion, tries too hard.