When I was in grade school, Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" was one of the books I tended to read repeatedly (not unlike "Sprockets, the Little Robot"). At the time, there was a lot of doubt about the book, which was the Harry Potter of its day. People suspected that L'Engle (who spent years as librarian and writer-in-residence at New York's Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine) had crafted a clever tale to secretly induct children in some form of witchery or other. Those fears probably came from their inability to put L'Engle's work in a familiar category. Was it science fiction, with all that quantum physics talk? Was it fantasy, with its amazing creatures? Was it mythology--a child's version of the Aenead? In a way, it was all three.
L'Engle really wrote more for grown-ups than for children. The last book of hers I read (loaned to me by Tammy Perlmutter) was Walking on Water: Reflections on Life and Art, a very grown-up book indeed.
And now L'Engle has crossed the Wrinkle from time into eternity.
May she rest in peace.
Here is the NY Times article.