Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Wrinkle in Time (and Eternity)

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.

1 comment:

harv681 said...

"A Wrinkle in Time" was one of my favorites! It was read to me (and my entire 5th grade class) aloud by our teacher, Ms. Bienvenue (I remember she married that year to a Cobra helicopter pilot recently returned from Vietnam. I guess it was 1969-ish). An avid reader already, it was this book, and this teacher, that turned me into an insatiable reader.