Madeleine L’Engle


“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”—Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007) was an American author and poet best known for her young adult science-fiction, particularly the beloved book, A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels. She wrote over 60 books (many also for adults) that often reflected her faith and her strong interest in science. As an only child, Madeleine was raised by artistic parents in New York City, with plenty of freedom to use her imagination. Instead of her school work, she found that she would much rather be writing stories. In fact, she wrote her first book at age 5. She later joined the theatre, married an actor, moved to the countryside, and raised her children, running a general store, while always keeping up her lifelong discipline of writing and journaling. When she wrote A Wrinkle in Time, which went on to win the prestigious Newbery Medal, almost didn’t get published. It was rejected by 27 publishing agencies, and in her mid-forties, Madeleine was ready to retire. We are so glad she kept writing.

To give an idea of her wonderful mind, here are a selection of wonderful quotes from Madeleine L’Engle:

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”

“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”

“Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.”

“The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.”

“Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.”

“When we lose our myths we lose our place in the universe.”

“But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.”

“It’s a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.”

“Somethings have to be believed to be seen.”


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