Before I could read well enough to enjoy her books, I knew of Madeleine L'Engle. As my sister's favorite, our sweet new puppy was named Charles Wallace. I knew that the name suited him: our smart little puppy with the big personality.
When I was much older, I finally read A Wrinkle in Time and I was blown away. Never a fan of children's books that pandered to the reader, nor a fan of super-fantastical science fiction, I felt that Madeleine L'Engle had created a story abstract enough to relate to anyone. I felt loss, I felt uncertain, I felt fear, and thusly I could relate to Meg.
I read some of the others, never a fully dedicated fan like my sister. But my admiration never faltered. Having read several books for young adults recently, I have new appreciation for her complexity. It is a challenge to engage the reader without oversimplifying - she navigated through swift moving plots with loving and honest attention to character development.
I have yet to read her autobiographical works. I must do so, as her life sounds fascinating! You can read more about her in the NYTimes... or any number of papers that will likely have lengthy obituaries for her.
I just wanted to acknowledge her. Many happy moments of my life have been spent in her literary care... and many sweet memories with the namesake of one of her most intriguing characters.