Today marks the 50th anniversary of a children's book classic, A Wrinkle in Time. To celebrate this milestone Farrar, Straus and Giroux (who published the book 50 years ago) have released gorgeous commemorative editions with the original hardcover and paperback jackets and new extras that include an introduction by Katherine Paterson and an afterword by author Madeleine L'Engle's granddaughter.
A Wrinkle in Time is as relevant and captivating in 2012 as it was in 1962, and it's incredible to me that such an iconic story began with a random thought during a cross-country vacation, "...the names Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which popped into my grandmother’s head, and she told her three children—twelve, ten, and seven—that she would have to write a book about them..."--from the afterword [PDF].
Many prominent authors have been influenced by Madeleine L'Engle, including Judy Blume. Blume was interviewed for a book about L'Engle (titled Listening for Madeleine) coming out in the fall, and we have an exclusive excerpt, a sample of which is below. You can find the rest of the excerpt here (under More to Explore).
"Madeleine and I really bonded over the issue of book banning. Her books were being
challenged all over the country. They were being challenged—and I love this and have used it in
every speech about book banning that I’ve ever given—for teaching “New Ageism” to children. I
always say that I can guarantee you that when Madeleine wrote her books she had never heard of
New Ageism. The attacks on her books made her absolutely furious. She was beside herself, not
just because her books were being attacked, but because any books were being targeted in that
way. We would go out and do TV shows together in defense of banned books. An evening news
show might have a segment on the censorship of children’s books. This was during the 1980s.
She was so elegant and so down-to-earth, and some of her answers were so funny, as much as to
say: Why are you guys so stupid? Why would you be asking questions like this? She never
actually said those things, but it was absolutely clear what she meant. I just loved her."--Judy Blume in an excerpt from Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices.
A Wrinkle in Time has been read, loved, and shared, by countless readers over the last 50 years, and I'm certain that trend will continue. This anniversary inspired me to re-read the book for the first time in decades and I fell in love with the words and characters all over again. Those of you who adore this book as I do will understand when I say that I got a little bit giddy when I saw the photo posted below, and if A Wrinkle in Time is one of the unread classics on your list--treat yourself to an amazing read. --Seira
A photograph of page one from the original manuscript of A Wrinkle in Time (click on it to see a larger image).