While kids across the country lined up to see the new movie version of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, students from Our Lady Queen of Angels school in East Harlem recently got the inside scoop on how L’Engle’s book came to be. On April 16th, a group of eighth-graders visited the Library of America office in New York City to hear LOA editor Stefanie Peters discuss our preparation of the definitive version of L’Engle’s signature work, to be published this fall in Madeleine L’Engle: The Kairos Novels—a two-volume set that collects Wrinkle with seven other “Time” novels.
Students were surprised to learn that LOA is restoring words, punctuation, and even character names that were changed against L’Engle’s wishes. Even more exciting for the girls was Stefanie’s reading of a newly discovered, never-before-published passage deleted by L’Engle but kept in her archives; this passage, along with three others, is included as an appendix in the LOA volume.
In their questions, the students pondered the vulnerability and bravery of Wrinkle protagonist Meg Murray in relation to their own life experiences and wondered about L’Engle’s original idea for writing the book (which came to her, Stefanie explained, in the car during a family vacation).
Our thanks to Library of America trustee Candace Wainwright, who volunteers at Our Lady Queen of Angels as a mentor and book-group leader, for arranging this fun and inspiring session.