Madeleine L'Engle The Joys of Love

ISBN 13: 9781250004826

The Joys of Love

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9781250004826: The Joys of Love

During the summer of 1946, twenty-year-old Elizabeth is doing what she has dreamed of since she was a little girl: working in the theatre. Elizabeth is passionate about her work and determined to learn all she can at the summer theatre company on the sea where she is an apprentice actress. She's never felt so alive. And soon she finds another passion: Kurt Canitz, the dashing young director of the company, and the first man Elizabeth's ever kissed who has really meant something to her. Then Elizabeth's perfect summer is profoundly shaken when Kurt turns out not to be the kind of man she thought he was.

Moving and romantic, this coming-of-age story was written during the 1940s. As revealed in an introduction by the author's granddaughter Léna Roy, the protagonist Elizabeth is close to an autobiographical portrait of L'Engle herself as a young woman―"vibrant, vulnerable, and yearning for love and all that life has to offer."

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About the Author:

Madeleine L'Engle (1918–2007) was the Newbery Medal-winning author of more than sixty books, including the much-loved A Wrinkle in Time. Born in 1918, L'Engle grew up in New York City, Switzerland, South Carolina, and Massachusetts. Her father was a reporter and her mother had studied to be a pianist, and their house was always full of musicians and theater people. L'Engle graduated cum laude from Smith College, then returned to New York to work in the theater. While touring with a play, she wrote her first book, The Small Rain, originally published in 1945. She met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, when they both appeared in The Cherry Orchard.

Upon becoming Mrs. Franklin, L'Engle gave up the stage in favor of the typewriter. In the years her three children were growing up, she wrote four more novels. Hugh Franklin temporarily retired from the theater, and the family moved to western Connecticut and for ten years ran a general store. Her book Meet the Austins, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book of 1960, was based on this experience.

Her science fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time was awarded the 1963 Newbery Medal. Two companion novels, A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (a Newbery Honor book), complete what has come to be known as The Time Trilogy, a series that continues to grow in popularity with a new generation of readers. Her 1980 book, A Ring of Endless Light,won the Newbery Honor. L'Engle passed away in 2007 in Litchfield, Connecticut.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From The Joys of Love

On the warm summer nights after the curtain had come down on the evening’s performance, the actors would hurry out of costume and makeup and stroll down the boardwalk, stopping for ice cream or Cokes, or drifting into town where there were restaurants and nightclubs. The apprentices, who served as ushers, would walk along in their bright summer evening clothes, and in the ice cream parlors would talk loudly of the evening’s performance and of the problems of acting, so that everybody would know that they belonged to the theatre.

Sometimes, if Elizabeth had received a tip, she would go with the other apprentices; sometimes she would walk into town to a midnight movie with Ben Walton, the assistant stage manager, who was also an apprentice actor; but usually she stayed backstage, doing odd jobs for any of the professional actors who needed anything, waiting for a word or a gesture from Kurt Canitz.

Kurt Canitz was the director at the theatre, but occasionally he would take a role that appealed to him and then he would have Elizabeth cue him. When he grew tired of that, he would say, “I’m sick of working. Come and talk with me, Elizabeth.” And then he would take her to the restaurant in his hotel, the Ambassador, and talk to her for hours about the theatre, about the productions he had directed on Broadway, about Elizabeth’s own talent as an actress.

I have never lived before, Elizabeth thought. Until this summer I did not know what it was to be alive.

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