Writer. Matriarch. Mentor. Friend. Icon.Madeleine L'Engle is perhaps best recognized as the author of A Wrinkle in Time, the enduring milestone work of fantasy fiction that won the 1963 John Newbery Medal for excellence in children's literature and has enthralled millions of readers for the past fifty years. But to those who knew her well, L'Engle was much more besides: a larger-than-life persona, an inspiring mentor, a strong-willed matriarch, a spiritual guide, and a rare friend. In Listening for Madeleine, the renowned literary historian and biographer Leonard S. Marcus reveals Madeleine L'Engle in all her complexity, through a series of incisive interviews with the people who knew her most intimately. Vivid reminiscences of family members, colleagues, and friends create a kaleidoscope of keen insights and snapshop moments that help readers to understand the many sides of this singularly fascinating woman.
In this insightful biography of beloved children's book author Madeline L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newberry Medal), Marcus (Minders of Make-Believe) draws upon dozens of interviews with those who knew L'Engle personally and professionally, as well as with representatives of "the thousands of students, teachers, librarians, aspiring writers, neighbors and others who crossed her path." The result is both impressionistic and satisfyingly complex. One topic of concern is the spiritual aspect of L'Engle's work, which often got her books banned. We also get a window into her working habits, which included banging away on her grand piano. One of her editors at FSG recalls that "if you didn't pick your words right, you might end up with a whole new revision on your desk twenty-two minutes later." Throughout, L'Engle appears both remarkably generous and intensely private. For those who read L'Engle during childhood, this book will serve as a valuable companion to the stories they cherish. Photos. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Farrar, Straus & Giroux
November 13, 2012
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