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Madeleine L'Engle


Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L’Engle was born on November 29, 1918, and grew up in New York City, Switzerland, South Carolina, and Massachusetts. After graduating cum laude from Smith College in 1941, she returned to New York to work in the theater. While touring with Eva Le Gallienne and Joseph Schildkraut in Uncle Harry, Ms. L’Engle wrote her first book, THE SMALL RAIN (originally published in 1945 and reissued in 1984). She met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, when they both appeared in The Cherry Orchard with Miss Le Gallienne.

When Hugh Franklin temporarily retired from the theater, they moved their family to western Connecticut and opened a general store. Madeleine said, “A lot of what I learned in our store was of immense value to a writer...I have already published one book written directly out of our life there. It’s called MEET THE AUSTINS, but it could easily be called ‘Meet the Franklins!’” The Austin series continues with five additional books, including A RING OF ENDLESS LIGHTS (1980), a Newbery Honor Book.

After ten years in Connecticut, the Franklins moved to New York City. Hugh Franklin returned to the theater and became particularly well known for his role as Dr. Charles Tyler in the television series "All My Children." Mr. Franklin died in 1986.

Ms. L’Engle’s science fantasy classic A WRINKLE IN TIME was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1963. Four companion novels, A WIND IN THE DOOR (1973), A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET (1978), MANY WATERS (1986), and AN ACCEPTABLE TIME (1989) complete what has come to be known as the Wrinkle in Time Quintet.

Ms. L’Engle wrote dozens of books for both children and adults, including the Crosswicks Journals, which compromised four books: A CIRCLE OF QUIET (1972), THE SUMMER OF THE GREAT-GRANDMOTHER (1974), THE IRRATIONAL SEASON (1977), and TWOPART INVENTION (1988). Among other awards, she received the National Humanities Medal, which honors individuals whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities? the ALAN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Adolescent Literature from the National Council of Teachers of English? and the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Library Association. Ms. L’Engle lectured nationally and internationally, and for many years she was the librarian and writerinresidence at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

In Spring 2007, Square Fish reissued the Wrinkle in Time Quintet in new digest and rack editions. A new book for young adults, THE JOYS OF LOVE, is forthcoming from FSG in Spring 2008.

Ms. L’Engle passed away on September 6, 2007.

Madeleine L'Engle

Books by Madeleine L'Engle