Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Her Granddaughters

Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $19.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-374-30764-6
L’Engle’s granddaughters have produced a perceptive look at the prolific author’s solitary childhood, gawky adolescence, and early adulthood, concluding in 1961 with FSG acquiring the manuscript of the book that would become A Wrinkle in Time. Making generous use of L’Engle’s diary entries (starting when she was 14 and at a Swiss boarding school), correspondence, and memorabilia, the book will appeal to aspiring writers as well as L’Engle’s admirers. The liveliest and most engrossing sections focus on L’Engle’s young adulthood in New York City as she strove to make a career in the theater and as a novelist. Early successes in both arenas gave way to rejection and frustration, but L’Engle persisted, faithful to her need to write, regardless of publication. At 30, she reflected in her journal: “It is just a necessary function to me like breathing and eating and eliminating. And is one of my greatest joys. And one of my greatest agonies.” A personal prologue and a moving epilogue that succinctly touches on L’Engle’s later adulthood from her granddaughters’ perspective are additional highlights, as are the many photos of the writer and her family. Ages 9–12. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2017
Release date: 02/06/2018
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