Madeleine L'Engle

Born - Nov 29, 1919   |   Died - Sep 6, 2007   |   Genres - Children's/Family, Spirituality & Philosophy, Science Fiction, Fantasy

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Biography by Nathan Southern

One of the most widely cherished and unique scribes of her generation, Madeleine L'Engle authored a body of novels that drew generation after generation of readers and swept up a hefty amount of critical acclaim. At least half of L'Engle's works were youth-oriented; many, such as her 1962 masterpiece A Wrinkle in Time and its follow-ups -- A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet and Many Waters -- began amid a banal domestic environment before suddenly and abruptly segueing into vividly conceived extraterrestrial worlds. Throughout, L'Engle worked into her material gentle, ever-present philosophical and spiritual undercurrents that pooled Biblical entities and concepts (via the author's Episcopalian background), classicist mythology, and contemporary scientific knowledge with stunning dexterity. Largely because the novels are so difficult to film adroitly, the preponderance of L'Engle's oeuvre has never received cinematization, though a Canadian feature adaptation of Wrinkle finally appeared in 2003. L'Engle died of natural causes in September 2007 at age 89.