Saturday, September 8, 2007
The end of an era....

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But I just found out that Madeleine L'Engle died.

When I was a kid, I read a Wrinkle in time and all the later books in the series. They were my favorites. I wanted to *be* Charles Wallace.

(The newer versions have a different cover. But this is the version I read.)

I even wrote her a letter. She was the first and only author I ever wrote to. I think I was in the fourth grade.

And she wrote back to me. Madeleine L'Engle hand wrote me a letter thanking me and telling me she was glad I liked her books. She also told me that she thought it was great that I wanted to be a writer, and that I should do it.

I always hoped that I'd get a chance to meet her, now that I was finally published. I wanted to give her a copy of my book and say, "Thanks for being nice to me when I was a kid. I really needed it back then. And by the way, I really did do it. See?"

Oh Madeleine. I'm sorry I never got the chance to meet you. Thank you for everything.

We'll miss you.



posted by Pat at


Blogger Hob Gammidge said...

That's sad...A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favorite books of all time. It was really one of the books my parents had to take out of my hands for me to stop reading.

At least she leaves behind a great legacy of works for our progeny to enjoy.

Goodbye Madeline

September 8, 2007 7:25 AM  
Anonymous nick said...

That's not a great way to start my Saturday... I know I read that book, but for the life of me I can't remember what happened. Must be time for a tribute re-read.

September 8, 2007 10:30 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

It's so sad, but it made me smile to know that she went out of her way to thank you, even as a child. I don't think anyone could have doubts as to the wonderful woman she was.

I hope that people continue to remember her and read her books for a long time.

September 8, 2007 10:55 AM  
Anonymous tycho said...

I think it was A Wrinkle in Time that had the part about trying to explain sight to sightless creatures. That brain twister has remained with me the whole time. Always good for just sitting there and thinking about.

September 8, 2007 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll just say this: That book is worth a lot more than $1.25.

September 8, 2007 1:37 PM  
Blogger lucia said...

I am so saddened that another one of my favorite authors from childhood has died. When I read A Wrinkle in Time, I thought the word 'tessaract' (sp?) was one the coolest words ever! How wonderful that she replied to your letter! As a child, I never would have considered writing to an author; I was always told that grownups are too busy for the silliness of children. I would have loved to write to Robert Heinlein. When read that he died, I cried. He talked about math in a way that I could comprehend. When Asimov died, The magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction wasn't the same without the editorial column written by him personally. This is why the internet is such a wonderful invention; authors such as yourself can make yourself available to the know something about the person behind the story. Just knowing that she was a childhood influence is in itself a tribute.

September 8, 2007 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Ruth Ann Zeimet said...

oh my... she has always been one of my favorite authors ever... that is some of the saddest news...

September 8, 2007 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Marlene Kaim said...

Hello Patrick,
I too just learned of Madeleine's passing. I'm happy to read here that she affected so many of us--I also wrote to her a couple of times, once when teaching a 5th grade class and reading "Wrinkle in Time" with them, and another time when I needed some motherly advice in my life. She was the real thing--she cared deeply about love and life.
I wish I had the chance to meet her--maybe in our dreams...

September 8, 2007 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Krys A. Night said...

That really sucks. I remember reading her books myself when I was younger and really enjoying them.

September 8, 2007 8:39 PM  
Blogger Calenh√≠ril said...

I think A Wrinkle in Time and the next two books were among the first books that I ever bought for myself, at one of those elementary school book fairs. I read them over and over, and it shows. I'm pretty anal about my books, but even the best-bound book will crack under so many readings...

Thank you Madeline for all your words.

September 8, 2007 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Llyralei said...

Oh, Pat, I'm so sorry. Madeleine L'Engle was amazing. I feel the need to go reread A Wrinkle in Time. <3

September 9, 2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger Cory said...

This can only be described as losing one of a noble rank. May her legacy continue on.

September 9, 2007 10:25 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's the edition I read, too -- again and again. How wonderful that so many of us share the same fond memory, and how sad that we've lost her.

September 10, 2007 1:30 AM  
Blogger Alena said...

That's the same paperback edition I have on my shelf.

Sad news that she's gone... but with the vast body of work she left, I think it's safe to say that she won't be forgotten.

Whenever I think of A Wrinkle In Time, what comes to mind first is "Tesser, sir!"

September 10, 2007 7:19 PM  
Blogger Shawn C. Speakman said...

First Lloyd Alexander. Now Madeleine. So sad. These were my introductions into the fantasy genre.

And Pat, I got very sad while reading your post about this. I wish you had gotten your chance to meet her and talk to her.

September 13, 2007 5:27 PM  
Blogger kellynevins said...

I had no idea she passed away- where was it in the news??? Like you, A Wrinkle in Time was one of the first few books in fantasy/ sci-fi I ever read. However, I always pictured myself as Meg Wallace (good thing, as I'm a chick). To the perplection of some good friends, I have nicknamed their daughter Tessa, Tesseract.

September 15, 2007 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've just known her a few days ago
but that's enough for me to adore her and her A WRINKLE IN TIME [the coolest sci-fi book i've ever read!]

It's so sad to know she passed away

March 12, 2009 12:58 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

RSS info

Previous Posts
Bookmark this Blog
(IE and Firefox users only - Safari users, click Command-D)


© 2007 Patrick Rothfuss, All Rights Reserved
Contact Patrick
website designed and hosted by