Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time

Madeleine L'Engle, Born November 29, 1918

Happy 100th birthday to Madeleine L'Engle, the beloved author of the “A Wrinkle In Time” Quintet! Many fans of her award-winning books don't realize that these classic stories were nearly never written -- frustrated after years of having her writing rejected by publishers, L'Engle decided to give up writing on her 40th birthday. She later admitted that she was failed to do so and continued to work on her stories subconsciously. Shortly after her birthday, during a cross-country camping trip, she had the idea for what would become her most famous novel, "A Wrinkle in Time." After finishing the novel the following year, it was rejected nearly thirty times before being published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1962.
In discussing the reasons for its rejection, L'Engle wrote that "A Wrinkle in Time had a female protagonist in a science fiction book" which was very unusual. Moreover, many publishers likely found the book to be "too different... because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was really difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adults' book, anyhow?" After its initial publication, the novel has been continuously in print and it's often cited as one of the most beloved children's books of all times. L'Engle ultimately wrote four sequels to "A Wrinkle in Time," including "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" for which she won a National Book Award.
In describing the appeal of writing for children, L'Engle, who died in 2007 at the age of 88, once said: "The child will come to it with an open mind, whereas many adults come closed to an open book. This is one reason so many writers turn to fantasy (which children claim as their own) when they have something important and difficult to say."

Text from A Mighty Girl Facebook group