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

Review

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

When the name Madeleine L'Engle is mentioned, most people think of the children's book, A WRINKLE IN TIME. But this well-known writer is the author of many children's books, as well as other literary works. Madeleine wrote plays and poems and stories for adults, and penned stories for children. It wasn't until her book A WRINKLE IN TIME was published that she started getting real recognition as a children's author.

"This book is the fascinating back story of Madeleine L'Engle Camp's life....The text is greatly enhanced with an abundance of never-before published photos and personal correspondence...."

In addition to writing, Madeleine was an accomplished pianist. Before she turned the greater part of her efforts in the direction of writing for children, she worked both behind the scenes and on stage in numerous thespian productions.

This book is the fascinating back story of Madeleine L'Engle Camp's life, starting with her childhood. Unlike many biographies, which are often written by complete strangers, this one was written by two of Madeleine's granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Lena Roy. They drew upon her many journals (she started the first one when she was a young girl), stacks of letters and stories and other correspondence left behind by their grandmother. The text is greatly enhanced with an abundance of never-before published photos and personal correspondence between Madeleine and family members. They all show a woman with not only a gift, but a need, to write. No matter what she wrote, her underlying philosophy was to ensure that "...the end of a work of fiction should be positive, that no matter how tragic or sordid the events the reader should be left at the end with a feeling of elevation."

Madeleine's granddaughters share a great deal of personal information with readers in their book, but they ended the narrative after the book, A WRINKLE IN TIME, was published. They gave several reasons for doing so: "We decided to end the narrative with the publication of A WRINKLE IN TIME for several reasons. It marked a new stage in her life and career; we thought younger readers would be most interested in her younger days, as we were when we were in school; and we wanted to respect the privacy of her journals and travel gently through them, especially those from the time when we knew her." If you read the book, you will understand how Madeleine became the writer we know and love.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on February 26, 2018

Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters
by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy