LISTENING FOR MADELINE by Leonard S. Marcus: A Review

In January, 2021, I started a personal project to read “all things by and related to Madeline L’Engle. So far I have reread and reviewed on PWR what I thought of as “the Wrinkle in Time trilogy,” only to discover there were two more books about the Wallace family. Also I read a biography by L’Engle’s granddaughters and reviewed it as well (Becoming Madeline).

Recently, I finished Listening for Madeline, which was written in a format I’d not encountered before, a collection of interviews.

People’s thoughts about children’s writer Madeline Engle

Marcus has gathered a “series of incisive interviews with people who know her most intimately…family, colleagues, and friends.” Subtitled “A Portrait of Madeline L’Engle in Many Voices,” this unusual book helps the reader understand the many facets of this outstanding woman/writer. After reading all the comments about her from those who knew her and dealt with her every day, I determined she was a strong woman, somewhat larger-than-life, and one who had her own eccentricities. The people quoted in Listening to Madeline knew her as ” an inspiring mentor, a strong-willed matriarch, a spiritual guide, and a rare friend.” How one woman could be so many things to such diverse individuals is a conundrum I wish to solve as I continue my “project.”

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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