Madeleine L'Engle (born November 29, 1918) is an American writer best known for her children's books, 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; mitochondrial DNA, for instance, is featured prominently in A Wind in the Door,tesseracts in A Wrinkle in Time, organ regeneration in The Arm of the Starfish and so forth.
Madeleine L'Engle Camp was born in New York City, and named after her great-grandmother, Madeleine L'Engle, otherwise known as Mado. Her mother, a pianist, was also named Madeleine. Her father, Charles Wadsworth Camp, was a writer and critic, and a foreign correspondent whose lungs were damaged by exposure to mustard gas during World War I. She wrote her first story at the age of five, and started keeping a journal at the age of eight. These early literary attempts did not translate into success at the New York City private...
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Madeleine L'Engle died in Litchfield, Connecticut, Litchfield County
An Acceptable Time is a 1989 young adult science fiction novel by Madeleine L'Engle. Sometimes marketed as part of the author's Time Quintet (the other four volumes of which are called the Time Quartet), An Acceptable Time is more properly part of a series of novels about Polyhymnia O'Keefe, better known as Poly (The Arm of the Starfish, Dragons in the Waters) or Polly (A House Like a Lotus, An Acceptable Time). Polyhymnia is the name of one of the Greek muses.Happy to be away from her large family for a while, Polly O'Keefe is spending the autumn with her maternal grandparents, Dr. Kate Murry and Dr. Alex Murry, getting a better education from them in science than she would have received at home. Soon, however, surprising things start to happen, including the unexpected arrival of Zachary Gray, a charming but troubled college student whom Polly met in Greece and dated on Cyprus the year before (A House Like a Lotus).Then, while walking near her grandparents' Connecticut home, Polly...,
Many Waters is a 1986 novel by Madeleine L'Engle, part of the author's Time Quartet."Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it. If a man were to give all his wealth for love, it would be utterly scorned." Song of Solomon 8:7The principal characters of the story are Sandy and Dennys Murry, twin brothers who are, paradoxically, somewhat out of place (i.e. for being "normal") in the context of the multifarious and eccentric Murry family from A Wrinkle in Time. The action of the story follows that of A Wind in the Door but precedes the climactic, apocalyptic events of A Swiftly Tilting Planet.In the middle of a New England winter, the boys accidentally disturb an experiment in their parents' lab. A sonic boom - a blast of heat - and the boys find they have been transported to a vast, trackless desert which is shaken by periodic earthquakes. Providentially, they encounter a water prospector named Japheth who offers to help them find refuge at the nearest oasis. Sandy...,
A Severed Wasp (1982, ISBN 0-374-26131-8), is a novel by Madeleine L'Engle. It continues the story, begun with The Small Rain (1945, ISBN 0-374-26637-9), of Katherine Forrester, a pianist. Now a widow in her seventies, Katherine Forrester Vigneras returns to New York City in retirement from concert touring in Europe. There she encounters Felix Bodeway, an old friend from her Greenwich Village days, who is now the retired Episcopal Bishop of New York. He asks Katherine to give a benefit concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It turns out to be an unexpected challenge, full of new friends and mysterious dangers. During the novel Katherine is befriended by several recurring characters from other L'Engle novels, including Mimi Oppenheimer from A Winter's Love, Josiah "Dave" Davidson from The Young Unicorns, and Suzy Austin (now Dr. Suzy Davidson) from the Austin family series. The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, which figures prominently in the plot of A Severed Wasp, is...,
A Ring of Endless Light is a 1980 novel by Madeleine L'Engle. The book tells of a girl named Vicky and her struggle to understand life as she deals with her dying grandfather, while at the same time finding love. Fifteen year old Vicky Austin is spending the summer on Seven Bay Island with her family to visit her maternal grandfather who is dying of Leukemia. At the beginning of the story, Vicky is seen standing at a funeral for Commander Rodney, a family friend. Nearby stands the commander's wife, and his two oldest sons, Leo and Jacky who own a launch boat business. It is at the funeral that Vicky first meets Adam Eddington, an intern at the Island's research base and a friend of Vicky's brother, John. When Vicky and her family return home she sees Zachary Gray, an old friend whom her family does not particularly like. It was Zachary who had indirectly caused Commander Rodney's death; the commander had gotten a heart attack while saving Zachary from a suicide attempt. The news of...,
A Swiftly Tilting Planet is a 1978 science fiction novel by Madeleine L'Engle, part of the Time Quartet.In A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Charles Wallace Murry, an advanced and perceptive child in A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door, has grown into an adolescent. His intelligence and remarkable goodness carry him through an adventure in time to save the world from nuclear disaster threatened by Mad Dog Branzillo, the dictator of the fictional South American country of Vespugia. In order to change the outcome of the present, Charles Wallace must change the past, in a series of "might-have-beens," events which are turning points fought over by the powers of good and evil.The book opens on Thanksgiving evening, about 10 years after the events of A Wind in the Door. Meg is now married to Calvin and is expecting their first child. Calvin has become a scientist and is in Britain at a conference. The Murry family is joined for Thanksgiving dinner by an unusual guest — Meg’s very antisocial...,
Dragons in the Waters (ISBN 0-374-31868-9) is a 1976 young adult murder mystery) by Madeleine L'Engle, the second title to feature her character Poly O'Keefe. Its protagonist is thirteen-year-old Simon Bolivar Quentin Phair Renier, an impoverished orphan from an aristocratic Southern family. The title comes from Psalm 74:13.Having been raised by his great aunt, Miss Leonis Phair, Simon accepts an invitation to travel by freighter to Venezuela with a long lost cousin, Forsyth Phair. Phair recently purchased a valuable heirloom painting of Simon Bolivar from Aunt Leonis. It is a relic of Simon's forebear, Quentin Phair, who fought at Bolivar's side. The portrait was sold to raise money to support Simon and Miss Leonis, who is ninety years old. Forsyth proposes to donate the portrait to a museum in Caracas — but all is not as it seems. A dangerous "accident" involving a forklift and odd interactions aboard the Orion lead fellow passengers Poly and Charles O'Keefe to believe that Simon's ...,
A Wind in the Door (1973, ISBN 0-374-38443-6) is a young adult science fantasy novel by Madeleine L'Engle. It is a sequel to A Wrinkle in Time, and part of the Time Quartet. Meg Murry is worried about her brother Charles Wallace, a 6-year-old genius and telepath who is shunned and bullied by the other children. The new principal of the elementary school is the former high school principal, Mr. Jenkins, who often disciplined Meg, and who Meg is sure has a grudge against her whole family. Meg tries to enlist Jenkins' help in protecting her brother, but is unsuccessful. On top of this, Meg discovers that Charles Wallace has a progressive disease which is leaving him short of breath. Their mother, a microbiologist, suspects it may have something to do with his mitochondria and the (fictional) "farandolae" which live within them. One afternoon, Charles Wallace tells Meg he saw a "drive of dragons" in the field near the house. Meg goes out with him to investigate, but all they find is a...,
The Young Unicorns (1968, ISBN 0-374-38778-8) is the title of a young adult suspense novel by Madeleine L'Engle. It is the third novel about the Austin family, taking place between the events of The Moon by Night (1963) and A Ring of Endless Light (1980). Unlike those two novels and Meet the Austins (1960), it does not center on Vicky Austin specifically, but on a family friend, Josiah "Dave" Davidson. As the story opens, the Austin family has settled in a New York City apartment after the events of The Moon by Night, and made some friends; blind young pianist Emily Gregory and Josiah "Dave" Davidson, who helps Emily get around. Emily is studying under the tutelage of the passionate, leonine Emmanuel Theotocopulous, better known as Mr. Theo. Canon Tallis, newly arrived at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine after the events of The Arm of the Starfish, meets the Austin children and their friends just as they encounter an anachronistic Genie in a junk shop. Tallis advises and helps...,
The Arm of the Starfish is a novel by Madeleine L'Engle, first published in 1965. It is the first novel dealing with the O'Keefe family.The plot centers on a young marine biology student named Adam Eddington, who travels to the remote island Gaea off the coast of Portugal for a summer job working for a famous scientist, Calvin O'Keefe. Even before he leaves JFK airport, Adam is approached by Caroline ("Kali") Cutter, the beautiful, well-traveled daughter of a rich American industrialist living in Europe. She warns Adam against yet another passenger, Canon Tallis. Tallis is accompanying Calvin O'Keefe's eldest daughter, 12-year-old Poly O'Keefe, to Geneva, but bad weather and mysterious dangers derail those plans. Instead, Adam finds himself shepherding Polly on a short flight from Madrid to Lisbon. When Poly uses the restroom during the flight, she seems to disappear from the airplane completely, and the flight crew denies she was ever on board. Kali's father, Typhon Cutter, later...,
A Wrinkle in Time is a children's fantasy novel by Madeleine L'Engle, written between 1959 and 1960 and published in 1962 after at least 26 rejections by publishers because it was, in L'Engle's words, "too different." The book went on to win a Newberry Medal, Sequoyah Book Award, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and was runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. It is the first in L'Engle's series of books about the Murry and O'Keefe families. The main character is Meg Murry, who is regarded by her peers and teachers as a bad-tempered underachiever. Her family recognizes her problem as a lack of emotional maturity but also regards her as being capable of great things. The family includes her beautiful scientist mother, her mysteriously missing scientist father, her five-year-old brother Charles Wallace Murry —a nascent super-genius— and ten-year-old twin athlete brothers Sandy and Dennys Murry. The book begins with the line, "It was a dark and stormy night," an allusion to the...,
Meet the Austins is the title of a 1960 novel by Madeline L'Engle, the first of her books about the Austin family. It introduces the characters Vicky Austin and her three siblings, and Maggy Hamilton, an orphan. Vicky's noisy, loving, mostly-happy family is disrupted by the arrival of Maggy, a spoiled, troubled only child who had very little family life even before her father died in a plane crash. Maggy encourages Vicky's sister Suzy to misbehave, which in turn makes Vicky's life difficult as she tries to restore order. The book is largely episodic, with each chapter covering a specific incident such as Vicky's bicycle accident or a family vacation.Rounding out the family are Vicky's father, Dr. Wallace "Wally" Austin, a doctor in general practice; her mother Victoria Eaton Austin, a retired singer; an uncle, Douglas Austin, an artist (painter) who occasionally visits; and Grandfather Eaton, a retired minister who lives in a converted stable on fictional Seven Bay Island.Although ...,
Ilsa is a 1946 novel by Madeleine L'Engle. Its significance lies largely in its rarity, the book having been out of print for nearly sixty years. It was the author's second novel, published a year after The Small Rain. Ilsa (New York: The Vanguard Press, 1946, 416 pp.) was published simultaneously in Canada by Copp Clark, Ltd. No catalog number of any sort is given. The dust jacket portrait of Ilsa is signed by "leslie." The original cover price was $2.75. The title character, Ilsa Brandes, initially lives with her naturalist father, Dr. John Brandes, in a house on a beach, outside a fictional town in the American Deep South. 13-year-old Ilsa is a vibrant, outgoing, seemingly carefree person. She immediately captivates the book's narrator, Henry Randolph Porcher, who is ten years old as the book opens. Henry's mother hates Ilsa and Dr. Brandes, even to the point of refusing their help when her home is on fire. After the fire, Henry and his family go to stay with relatives in Charleston...
The Small Rain is a semi-autobiographical novel by Madeleine L'Engle, about the many difficulties in the life of talented pianist Katherine Forrester between the ages of 10 and 18. Published in 1945 by The Vanguard Press, it was the first of L'Engle's long list of books, and was reprinted in 1984. L'Engle began work on it in college, and completed it while an actress in New York.Young Katherine has not seen her mother Julie in three years, since the latter was in an accident that ended her career as a pianist. Katherine has been studying piano herself, doing a little professional acting, and living with "Aunt Manya", a family friend known to the rest of the world as Madame Sergeivna, a famous actress on the Broadway stage. When she is ten, Katherine is reunited with Julie, and lives with her until Julie's premature death four years later. Manya marries Katherine's father, a composer named Tom Forrester, with whom Katherine has a cordial but not especially close relationship. Katherine...
Madeleine L'Engle was born in New York, New York, United States