Nov 28 2011 2:00pm

Introducing the Madeleine L’Engle Reread

The Madeleine L’Engle Reread on

Madeleine L’Engle was a relatively successful author of mainstream young adult fiction before she wrote the astonishing novel A Wrinkle in Time, a work of science fiction that managed to combine mathematics, space travel, angels, friendly singing beasts, and a dystopian community in a tightly plotted novel about not fitting in. L’Engle apparently thought up the plot while on a camping trip, but the work reflects a number of themes — particularly physics and Christian theology — that were to fascinate L’Engle for her entire life, and continue to be explored in novel after novel.

To help celebrate the upcoming 50 year anniversary of the first appearance of A Wrinkle in Time, over the next few weeks (months?), I’ll be looking at a number of L’Engle’s novels, including some (not all) of her mainstream novels as well. Since L’Engle frequently wrote her series novels out of order, and had a habit of bringing characters from one book into another, sometimes in a cameo or supporting role, creating an interlacing web, I’ve decided that it will be easier to do this reread in publication order….

…and break this rule almost immediately after saying that, since I’m starting with a 1983 edition of the 1949 And Both Were Young, which restored “inappropriate” elements removed for a 1940s audience. Already, early in her career, L’Engle showed that she would not hesitate to press against fictional boundaries. And already, she was messing with the rules of time. We’ll be seeing much more of this as this reread progresses.

We begin with And Both Were Young.

Mari Ness reads a lot. She lives in central Florida.

This article is part of The Madeleine L'Engle Reread: index | next ›
1. trench
Excellent, I had often wonder when would do a bit on Madeleine L'engle. A Wrinkle in Time was one of the first books I read and the first Science Fiction novel I ever read.

*tries to do a Teseract*
2. kittent
I adore Medeleine L'engle. I have since I first met Meg Murry some 45 years ago.

I'm looking forward to this.
3. Léna Roy

With love from her granddaughter.
4. Mallory
So excited! I don't have the 1983 printing, but my signed first printing should suffice.
Mari Ness
5. MariCats
@trench - The reread's been planned for awhile, and then we realized that we could more or less schedule it around the 50th anniversary of A Wrinkle in Time, which worked out for everyone.

@kittent - Glad to have you along!

@Lena Roy -- Hi! Very honored to have you comment!

@Mallory - The first edition? Fascinating. Our library didn't have a copy so I couldn't compare the two.
Susan Lanning
6. Slanning
A Wrinkle in Time is one of my all time favorite books and was already on my "To-Read" list for 2012...this re-read is even better! I'm looking forward to learning more about all the stories and the author. Madeleine L'Engle was a woman before her time!
7. Mallory
I've been collecting her books for years and just adore all of them. Loved curling up with an old favorite last night. The older editions, especially the signed ones, make me feel closer to her when I'm reading.
Cheryl Daigle
8. cherylriver
Very excited to link into this - Madeleine L'Engle is the reason why I write today, and helped shape my way of thinking and being during a tumultuous adolescence!
9. Christine123
I've really enjoyed this blog series. Are you going to do any more?
Mari Ness
10. MariCats
@Christine123 -- I won't be reading any more L'Engle, no, but I'll be continuing to read the Freddy the Pig series over the next couple of months, and then it's off to Edward Eager, Roald Dahl, and others that I forget.

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