Tuesday, June 23, 2009

10 Books A Day: #61

The Ordering Of Love: The New And Collected Poems...Madeleine L'Engle...Shaw

Glimpses Of Grace: Daily Thoughts And Reflections...Madeleine L'Engle...HarperSanFrancisco

Trailing Clouds Of Glory: Spiritual Values In Children's Books...Madeleine L'Engle with Avery Brooke...Westminster Press

Walking On Water: Reflections On Faith And Art...Madeleine L'Engle...Shaw

Certain Women...Madeleine L'Engle...Harper Collins

A Circle Of Quiet: The Crosswicks Journal Book 1...Madeleine L'Engle...Harper & Row

The Summer Of The Great-Grandmother: The Crosswicks Journal Book 2...Madeleine L'Engle...Harper & Row

The Irrational Season: The Crosswicks Journal Book 3...Madeleine L'Engle...Harper & Row

Two-Part Invention: The Story Of A Marriage...Madeleine L'Engle...Farrar Straus Giroux

Diary Of An Old Soul...George MacDonald...Augsburg Publishing House

Belloc: A Biographical Anthology...Hilaire Belloc, ed. Herbert Van Thal...Knopf

Madeleine L'Engle was more than a writer of "juvenile fiction." She was a novelist, poet, author of spiritual biographies, and commentator on the relationship of faith with creativity. To read her books is to see the difference between a Christian who writes books and a Christian author; the one forces the religion down into the work, the other raises the craft up into the Christianity. In the works of a Christian author the religion ennobles and empowers the writing, and the writing mediates and illuminates the religion, to the glory of both, and Madeleine L'Engle was a true Christian author. I came to regard her as a sort of spiritual mother, a female voice in counterpoint and contrast to the dry, skeptical, technically enlightening Ursula K. LeGuin, and in her devotion to the craft of writing an inheritor of Dorothy L. Sayers.

One of my treasured possessions is now my copy of Glimpses of Grace. I bought it used, at Hastings, and was surprised when I got it home to find that it was inscribed "Much Grace. Madeleine L'Engle." Three days later, I found out she had passed away. It was one of those odd synchronous happenings, that some people call chance, and some little operations of God. A small wave good-bye, touching those words as close as ever I will ever come physically to one of my favorite writers.

Book Count: 779.

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