Friday, September 07, 2007

Missing Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle, one of my absolute favorite writers, died last night. She was 88 years old.

From a time spanning roughly sixth grade through the end of high school, I wanted to be Vicky Austin, the protagonist of Troubling a Star and several other books in L'Engle's Chronos series. For those of you not intimately familiar with L'Engle and her novels, the Chronos books are primarily about the Austin family, whereas the Kairos books are centered around the Murrays and O'Keefes. I always thought it cool that she named these series after two Greek words for time. There are a few characters who have significant roles in both Chronos and Kairos. (For those of you who like trivia, those are Adam Eddington, Canon Tallis, and Zachary Gray.) The Kairos series is likely the most familiar to the public in general, as it includes A Wrinkle in Time.

L'Engle was a prolific author, and my favorites of her books are Many Waters, Meet the Austins, The Young Unicorns, Dragons in the Waters, A Wrinkle in Time and, most of all, Troubling a Star. I'm not sure how many times I reread these books, but in the case of Many Waters and Troubling a Star, it had to have been more than ten times each. I reread novels that I love frequently, but it's unusual for me to do so more than five times. L'Engle is one of a few authors who has written at least five novels that I have reread many, many times over the years. Others among this select few include C.S. Lewis (The Space Trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia, Till We Have Faces), J.K. Rowling, Laura Ingalls Wilder (the Little House books), L.M. Montgomery (the Anne of Green Gables series), and Roald Dahl.