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Madeleine L'Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  407 ratings  ·  40 reviews
The author of over fifty books, including Newbery Award winner A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle is internationally acclaimed for her literary skills and her ability to translate intangible things of the spirit-- both human and divine--into tangible concepts through story. In Madeleine L'Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life, you'll find hundreds of this celebrat ...more
Hardcover, 377 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Shaw Books
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Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I wouldn't call myself an avid fan of Madeleine L'Engle's writing, simply because I haven't actually read that much of it. But I have labeled A Wrinkle in Time as one of my all-time favorite books. And when there is a book--or a song, or a painting--that I thoroughly enjoy, I'm always interested in the creator behind the art, and the source behind that creativity. What in an artists' life has caused her to create such art?

For Madeleine L'Engle, writing was a calling for her. It was her way of be
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to win a giveaway copy of this and loved it. It's an anthology of quotes on writing from L'Engle's other works. I'd definitely recommend getting a copy with the Lindsay Lackey reader's guide in the back. The quotes may be very familiar to anyone who's well-read in L'Engle's writing, so I'd only have it as a guide. I'd also recommend reading her other book, Walking on Water, before going onto this one. ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
review pending, book club read
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t think I’ve ever used that many sticky notes in one book. Sooo many things I want to remember/come back to.
100% my favorite book on writing (sort of) I’ve read so far.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Book R: #6
From the author of A Wrinkle in Time, this compilation of approximately 300 carefully selected readings brings together the best statements of author Madeleine L'Engle on writing and creativity. An insightful and illuminating volume, Madeleine L'Engle Herself pages are extremely true and eye opening. On the page "Struggling towards meaning" it says: "To be alive is to be vulnerable. To be born is to start the journey towards death." This page talks about finding m
Steven R. McEvoy
I had the privilege of meeting L'Engle at a conference 20 years ago now. Reading this book was in many ways like being back at the small retreat with her. I could hear her voice and feel her presence. I am a fan of L'Engle's work in the span of 2 years I read about 30 of her books, spanning the breadth and depth of her writing. And with the reprint of this and I believe 3 other title of her non-fiction works on the same day, I am very excited to see her works coming back into print and being ava ...more
Elle River
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I fell in love with L'Engle when I read A Wrinkle in Time. I was in fourth grade. It cemented my interest in fantasy and science fiction and ignited my hunger for adventure. I identified so strongly with Meg: with her uncertainty, her stubbornness, and her struggles with self-esteem...essentially her faults! Also, here was a science fiction book with heroine. Tired of reading about what felt like the same skinny young boy in every story about magic, L'Engle's Meg let me know that I could have ad ...more
Michelle Kidwell
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Madeleine L'Engle Herself
Reflections on a Writing Life
by Madeleine L'Engle

Crown Publishing

Convergent Books
Pub Date 18 Sep 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Madeline L Engle Herself through Crown Publishing and Netgalley:

This book includes 500 of Madeline L Engle’s most insightful, illuminating and transforming statements about writing, creativity and truth.

In Madeline L Engle herself she points out that to be alive is to be vulnerable. We are also reminded me that we need to use the gifts th
Andrea Humphries
This collection of quotes and excerpts from Madeleine L'Engle's books and workshops provides such wonderful insight into the mind of one of the 20th century's greatest writers. It is invaluable for writers seeking to deepen their craft and put their gifts and skill to work in the best possible way. It's also a gift for L'Engle's fans to have so many of her thoughts condensed into a single volume. ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of her quotes on a variety of writing-related topics. I personally did not enjoy this - there were some gems, but not a lot compared to the volume of the collection. Many were repetitive, and too many were religion-focused for my taste.
Megan Byrd
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
This is a collection of quotes from Madeleine's writings as well as lectures and classes she gave over the years. It is divided into ten sections and talk about writing, reading, and story. It was an encouraging and inspiring read. ...more
Meg (fairy.bookmother)
I liked certain passages out of this and wrote them down because I think L'Engle has a talent for spinning a sentence. However, a lot of passages seemed repetitive and too religious/outdated for my tastes. ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Not what I expected, but a few nuggets from a respected spiritual writer
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Good thoughts, but this is basically a book of quotations. I would prefer the context of the larger work it was taken from.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved reading Madeleine’s little thoughts that had been gathered for this book. She was such an honest, vulnerable person and her works reflect that.
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
if you are a writer, you need to read this book.
Dec 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, dropped
Some passages are great, but there was way too much repetition for my taste. The 331 pages could have been cut in half and been more effective.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a compilation of quotations from L'Engle's writings, speeches, and classes, and is the next best thing to a book she could write about her thoughts on writing--her own and others'. Although the author's titles for the entries downplay the Christian content of some of L'Engle's statements, the book is for every writer and admirer of L'Engle's works. The timeline and bibliography are helpful. L'Engle would not teach people how to write, believing that it cannot be taught in classes such as ...more
Kaylin Meredith
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book. It was so insightful into the world of writing and inspired me to look at the events in my life more intentionally. L’Engle really is a wise woman with much knowledge of writing and of the world in general.
There were some things that seemed a little mystic. I don’t really understand the whole “books name us” thing. I did, however, love everything she said about the growth of people, how people change, but all of their other past selves stay with them and keep helping
I really liked Herself! It takes small, readable chunks (rarely more than a page at a time) from L'Engle's lectures, workshops, and other books, and shows cohesively, through these pieces, L'Engle's viewpoint on writing and faith. I initially got the book from the library, but after typing up passages I wanted to keep for later reference got ridiculous--so much of what I read struck cords in me--I bought a copy and finished the book when it arrived.

Chase organized L'Engle's ideas thoughtfully an
Aug 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a book of quotes from classes that Madeleine L'Engle has taught. As I went through the book I put bookmarks in to save my favorite pages so I could write the quotes down later but when I went back to write them I realized that I bookmarked almost every page! I'll have to either check the book out again or buy it for my reference library. I agreed with much of what she said and enjoyed that she is not ashamed of being a Christian and writing from that point of view. She has some very good ...more
Catherine Gillespie
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing
Because I’m now such a huge Madeleine L’Engle fan, I checked out Madeleine L’Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life. However, once I got it home from the library I realized it was not another book by L’Engle, but rather a compilation of quotes taken from her other works. This was a disappointment to me, because while I enjoy quotes, and took a vast number of pages of them down while reading other L’Engle books, I prefer to read her essays in their entirety. When you just get a quote that s ...more
Mary Radmacher
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
a gift to the world - this collection of audio turned written word.

the pieces are like madeleine hereself:
generous of spirit, large in perspective and divine in
encouragement and truth telling.

thankfully for the library this book is available as many times as i
want and need to read it.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really love Madeleine L'Engle! She feels like an old friend. Her work and her wisdom are so honest. I bought this book and underlined so many beautiful ideas and thoughts she had about writing and creativity and faith. I plan to peruse it again and again. It's organized in little chunks of ideas and need not be read in order. She inspires me to write and read more, to think and wonder. ...more
Two beloved 20th century authors wrote memoirs that examine both their faith and their craft. As inspirational as informative, both titles draw the reader into the authors’ worlds. See Madeleine L’Engle’s Madeleine L’Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life and C. S. Lewis’s Surprised by Joy: the Shape of my Early Life.
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This woman is simply inspiring when it comes to writing and storytelling.

This book has bite-sized clips of her writings, and probably quotes from things she said in writing seminars and conferences and classes.

Madeleine L'Engle is the type of writer that makes you compelled to sit and write, not just wallow in the details and procrastinations of pre-writing.
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked it okay, but I didn't realize quite how short the selections were going to be (most were a page, occasionally two pages). It was kind of frustrating, because I'd feel like the excerpts ended just as an interesting point was about to be made. ...more
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book changed me and the way I think about reading, writing, and my relationship with the Divine. It's essentially a book of short quotes by L'Engle that discuss life lessons she's learned from her career as a writer and artist. I'll probably end up reading this once a year. ...more
Jackie Lee
Oct 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
One of the most inspiring books about writing out there
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2011
There is a little too much repetition in some of the entries, but overall this is a wonderful collection of wisdom from a wonderful writer.
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Madeleine L'Engle was an American writer best known for her young adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. Her works reflect her strong interest in modern science: tesseracts, for example, are featured prominently in A Wrinkle in Time, mitochondrial DNA in A Wind in the Door, organ regener ...more

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