A couple of months ago, in my Nightstand post, I mentioned that I was reading the third of Madeleine L’Engle’s Crosswick Journals. Most of you had never heard of that series. I hadn’t either until fairly recently, but my mind did immediately make the leap to the other works that I have read and enjoyed that perhaps many of you have never heard of, including her adult fiction novels, which I stumbled upon in the library years ago.
I decided that I wanted to take this year to look comprehensively at Madeleine L’Engle’s works because they are so varied, and each so thoughtful and interesting. Her official site numbers them at 63. I’m not aiming to read each of them, but I plan to re-read some favorites, make some new discoveries, and dip into each genre.
She’s written non-fiction books on faith, on art, and on marriage. I’ve read books she’s written on friendship, on writing, and her journals (which are what the Crosswick Journals are — each focusing on a different facet of her life).
I’ve read quite a few of her adult fiction novels as well and plan to re-read one that I loved, as well as a few that are new to me.
It’s been years since I read the one work that each of you most closely identify with this author, the Newbery award winning A Wrinkle in Time, but I was thrilled to introduce Amanda to it recently, and even happier to know that she loved it. I definitely plan to revisit it.
How many other authors have written fiction and nonfiction, for adults, young adults, and children? And the question that has been prompting me is what might I find if I look at her body of work as a whole?
Have you ever tackled the entirety of an author’s work? If so, did you make any discoveries?
Managing Editor Jennifer Donovan also blogs at Snapshot about life with her tween daughter and preschool son.
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Barbara H. says
Years ago when I first saw Anne of Green Gables, I read everything I could find of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s. She wrote so often of misunderstandings that caused people years in their relationships that I wondered if something like that had happened in her life. And I thought she was a much better writer of short stories than novels, though I loved her novels, too. I’ve also read about everything I know of that Louisa May Alcott wrote. But neither of them has a real varied repertoire.
Last year, I decided to read all of Jane Austen’s novels, and I am so glad I did. I haven’t read ANY of Madeleine L’Engle’s books. Perhaps I will try her next (although I doubt I will read 63 of them).
Hmmm. . . let’s see. . . I think I’ve read most of L.M. Montgomery’s works, but as Barbara H. mentioned, she doesn’t have a very varied repertoire.
Another (obvious) author that comes to mind is C.S. Lewis. I’ve read a lot of his stuff, too (‘though I don’t remember most of it very well), and I think he had an amazing ability to tell the same story in many, many, many different ways.
I’m working on reading all of Jane Austen’s works. Right now I’m reading Emma, which will be my last novel of hers, and then it’s on to her letters and unfinished novels. I also just finished a biography on Jane Austen as well.
Monica Brand | Paper Bridges says
CS Lewis. Jane Yolen. those are two authors I’ve read that do “it all.” But I’ve not read all their work. I need a cook, housekeeper and nanny for all this reading! 🙂
Oh I LOVE Madeleine L’Engle! I have read and reread her Crosswicks Journals books–I first read them in the late 80s, I think. I have read a lot of L’Engle, but nowhere near all 63! I have read pretty much everything CS Lewis wrote (including poetry and unfinished short stories) and I have read all Shakespeare, all Charlotte Bronte, all Jane Austen, and most of LM Montgomery (including the Emily and the Pat series, neither of which are well known in the US. The Emily ones are my favs) Who else? Umm…All of Harper Lee 😉 (Of course she only wrote one book) I can’t think of any discoveries that my mis-spent life has led me too, other than the fact that if you let the babies cry it out and don’t stress the dust bunnies, you have more time for reading 😉
“Have you ever tackled the entirety of an author’s work? If so, did you make any discoveries?”
Yes, I read all of Eugenia Price’s books relating to the beginnings of Florida up to the end of the Civil War–Savannah being the most remembered one. In all, there are about 14+ books. My discovery: the horror of slavery.