Madeleine L’Engle, RIP

The author of A Wrinkle in Time has left us. Her work is one of the things that made me a writer, a science fiction and fantasy fan, an avid reader. Hers were the first books I read that mixed math and magic, the quest and the quantum. To put it simply, without L’Engle’s tesseracts, Midnighters would have no tridecalogisms.

Here are a few more thoughts I put down for New York Magazine‘s Culture Blog.

And here Gwenda Bond quotes L’Engle at length on what authors know or don’t know about what their novels mean.

According to the NY Times obit, A Wrinkle in Time has sold six million copies since 1962, but lately moves only 15,000 copies per year. One copy a year for every 20,000 Americans? Somewhere, IT is having a good laugh, and getting ready.

How many of you guys have read her work? (Believe me, you should.)

104 thoughts on “Madeleine L’Engle, RIP

  1. oh thats depressing… we read the book as a class in 7th grade which i have to say ruined it a little BUT. so true; was an AMAZING story +it reminded me of something… with the whole everybody is perfect in a bland sort of way because their being controlled by some political figure/mastermind [or large brain. ha ha.] type nightmare that i saw in a movie. ^^ and that’s always cool in an eerie sort a’ way. right??

    was anyone who read it satisfied with the ending? it seemed a little rushed, or is that just me?

  2. That is such a sadness. I’ve read it, long long ago. And now I shall have to read the series again.

    Perhaps after Skin Hunger – since Justine was so adamant about everyone reading that. πŸ˜‰

  3. I read A Wrinkle in Time back in middle school. I really only remember it as being the first book where I went “this is how this book is going to end” and low and behold I was correct πŸ˜€

    I love this obit. Not only does it mention my very first favorite author of all time, for the very book that is mentioned (The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman) but it is also as a bonus written by my second favorite author.

    Coincidentally, The Golden Compass is the reason that I write.

  4. I’ve loved her work since I first read A Wrinkle in Time in fourth grade. One of the great things about Wrinkle was that I didn’t understand much of the science behind it but I did get the major themes. As I got older, I understood more and that made me enjoy the book on a whole new level. As a side note, my husband gave me a first edition of her first novel for my birthday one year (I do have a wonderful husband!).

  5. Oh my gosh! That’s terrible!! I love Madeline and her books. They are so amazing!! :[ well, at least i have read all of her books.. Rest in peace!!!!!

  6. I was upset when I heard she died as well. Although I didn’t like Wrinkle in Time very much, I loved the story behind the book. How she never gave up and didn’t care about what other people thought about her writing… I really admired her for it.

  7. That’s so sad. πŸ™ One of the things that makes me want to be a writer is that when you die your books will still live on, so it’s not like your leaving this world without contributing something to it.

    I need to read her books.

  8. Jess-la…i read it in kindergarten. dont remember much. just started rereading it.

    i cant believe that! only one person out of 20,000 people have bought it in the last year! that’s just sad-making.

    Well, ive just ordered 13 (lucky 13, thanks to her) copys from the internet. they should be on there way. im keeping 3 (even though i already have one) and im giving the rest to my friends for EXTRAS (newly declared world wide holiday).

    lets start the circulation back up again!!! that should make her happy.

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! πŸ™‚ (im happy again!)

  9. o that is really sad. wat did she die of??
    i never read any of her books. i guess i really should now. but i think our 5th grade class watched some movie based on “A Wrinkle in Time.”
    Whoa midnighters without tridecalogisms…. that would not be nearly as good…. tridecalogisms changed my life. i mean seriously after i read those books i would count the letters of every big word i saw to check.

  10. ME TWO!!! πŸ™‚ i’m making a list. so far, i have memorized 117 (multiple of 13) tridecalogisms! all my friends think im crazy. and im starting to notice little tidbits of info, kinda like Dess.

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! πŸ˜›

  11. hey! guess whats so cool! i just got all the twilight books from the library. so i just got online to see when they were due. and guess when there due? EXTRAS! (the newly declared world wide holiday for all of u slow peeps. Ocober 2!) it’s soooo hypochondriac! (guess what i just found out? hypochondriac sounds ttly awesome rite? but what it really is is something having to do with bacteria or some kind of disease or something. dizzy-making)

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! πŸ˜›

  12. I wish I had known this earlier, it’s a terrible loss to the literary world and the imaginations of children everywhere. I would never have started reading sci-fi or fantasy without A Wrinkle In Time. Her legacy will live on.

  13. 23 days or
    571 hours or
    34270 minutes or
    2056210 seconds
    Til EXTRAS!!!!!

    (multiple of 13! thanx Madeliene!)

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! πŸ˜›

  14. I’m so sad about her death. I’ve read a lot of her books – the stand-alones like Camilla and Both Were Young, as well as the Wrinkle in Time series and some of the Austin books. I think this is the first time a writer I really like has died during my lifetime. So, so sad.

  15. I’ve never read any of her books, but I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about them. I think I will read them soon though.
    bye guys b/c i have to go babysit, I know what a drag, but i get payed alot so peace out.

  16. I LEARNED ALL THE WORDS TO SPIDER PIG!

    spider pig
    spider pig
    does whatever a spider pig does
    can he swing from a web?
    no he can’t
    he’s a pig

  17. its definetely not a movie for the theater. i dont get why people pay 7 bucks to see it.
    when it will be on tv soon enough. but i like the song Amy-la!

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! πŸ˜›

  18. i made a video. well its just a bunch of pictures put together. first there is a picture of uglies, a picture of pretties, a picture of specials, a picures of midnighters secret hour, a picture of midnighters touching darkness, a picture of midnighters blue noon, a picture of peeps, and a picture of the last days. then there is a series of pictures of me stacking them like a tower. then it falls down before i finish it. then i try a different way. it works. then there is a picture of that tower fallen down. so it didnt work that much. then the credits say that i shouldnt build towers for a living. and while this is happening, fall out boy is playing.

  19. She died?!?! That’s so sad. πŸ™ I love her Time Quartet… I must have read them all a dozen times. Her books are actually what helped me get through my grandfather’s death. I was feeling really down and depressed, when one day I came across her books, and they made me feel a whole lot better.

    RIP, Madeleine LÒ€ℒEngle. πŸ™

  20. yeah seriously! WAS that in your food?!?!?!? i would sue if i were you. eeeeewwww. thanks a lot. i just made waffles and now i cant eat them! eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww!!!! excuse me but i have to go kill a spider. my sister’s screaming.

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! πŸ˜›

  21. This is unbelievably sad. That book completely amazed me. I heard the news from answers.com this morning and the first thing I thought was “Dang!” I’m still going to be Mrs. Who for Halloween though.

  22. Only 1977963 Seconds Til EXTRAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (thats a multiple of 13…thanx Madeleine!)

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! πŸ˜›

  23. Hey…i just realized something.
    hey Scott-la…did you name Madeleine after Madeleine. you no, the mindcaster? did you did you did you?!?!?!
    HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! πŸ˜›

  24. I have a wrinkle in time right here in my dorm room bookshelf. There’s not such thing as a children’s book…

    my copy is battered and old, since i read it at least once every year since i was in 4th grade. Mrs. Who was so wise, “nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything”

    Madeleine will not be forgotton.

    And the cover still freaks me out…
    oh, the cover says the books was only $2.99
    can you believe that?
    a masterpeice for 3 dollars…

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