Posted by: Trisha Leigh | February 16, 2011

The Beauty in the Dark Parts

No one could replace Madeleine L’Engle as one of my biggest idols, at least as far as my writing career, and I always knew I couldn’t be the only person out there whose life changed forever after spending hours with her beautifully crafted, subtely brilliant stories. I’m posting the link to an open letter (from a woman named Natalie Grant) to the late author, and I think it’s beautiful. Here’s a small excerpt:

“Thank you for your romantic worldview, your science v. religion bipartisanship, your gentle yet relevant thematic climaxes, your prodigious command of syntax, your amazingly mature and intelligent male characters whose real-life counterparts I’m still waiting to find, your genre-defying creativity, your graceful introduction of poetry legends, your beloved values, and most of all your belief that the world can be a beautiful place—not just despite the dark parts, but because of them.”

“…the world can be a beautiful place – not just despite the dark parts, but because of them.”

If that phrase alone doesn’t make your insides ache with unuttered admiration, you’ve never immersed yourself in one of L’Engle’s flawlessly crafted worlds, or attempted to create one yourself.

Read the full letter here.

If you haven’t, read Madeleine L’Engle’s books. Read them with your children. They’re still relevent – maybe now more than ever.

What I’m watching right this second: Last night’s episode of The Cape. Jump on the bandwagon, people. Suit up. Fight back.



  1. *sighs* Makes me want to read my L’Engle collection all over again.

  2. Gosh, I love this post. Like you, I adore L’Engle. Ever since I was wee and started reading her books, they’ve stuck with me, indelibly and forever. The “dark places” quote is a fantastic, succinct embodiment of what I so adore about her stories.

    I also want to offer up this quote of hers, which I treasure anew every time I read it:

    “The artist, if he is not to forget how to listen, must retain the vision which includes angels and dragons and unicorns, and all the lovely creatures which our world would put in a box marked Children Only.”

  3. Madeleine L’Engle is why I write. Well, perhaps not the ONLY reason. But her worlds — and HER — made me feel like all things were possible. She is my hero. She is currently the only writer I have ever written to.

    I read that McSweeney essay and had an odd moment when I wondered when I had written that article and how I’d managed to submit it without noticing.

    Thank you for writing about it.

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