Birthday Sweepstakes

November 22, 2016 | None Yet - Post a Comment

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In honor of Madeleine’s Birthday on November 29, Macmillan Children’s is offering several chances to win some L’Engle books! Grand Prize is a complete L’Engle Library (of her YA and MG titles), including a slipcovered Time Quintet special edition.

Click here to enter!

Granddaughters to write a biography

November 8, 2016 | 2 Comments

Charlotte, Madeleine, and Lena (L to R). ca. 1976.

Charlotte, Madeleine, and Lena (L to R). ca. 1976.

From Publisher’s Marketplace, November 7, 2016

Children’s: Middle grade
L’Engle’s granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Lena Roy’s BECOMING MADELEINE L’ENGLE, a biography of the Newbery Award-winning author of A WRINKLE IN TIME and over 60 other books for children and adults, to Margaret Ferguson at Margaret Ferguson Books, for publication in Winter 2018, by Lisa Erbach Vance at the Aaron Priest Literary Agency (NA).

Léna and Charlotte interview each other about the biography, the upcoming film adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, and more.

LR: Charlotte, we are having such a good time working together on this biography. How did we get here?
CJV: Laurie Lane, a poet and former assistant to Gran, planted the seed during a visit. She thought a picture book biography would be wonderful. Around the same time I was going through some uncataloged correspondence that turned out to be a remarkably complete set of letters from Gran to her mother from 1937 through 1945. It was the period in her life that most fascinated us as children — the time between her graduating from college and her marriage — and reading it answered a lot of questions. But it also brought up new ones!
LR: Yes! I remember imagining her energetically writing her first novel, The Small Rain, while working as an understudy and assistant stage manager…
CJV: FSG was interested in publishing a middle-grade biography of Madeleine L’Engle and asked me, as her executor, if there was anyone I would like to see write it, and of course I immediately thought of you. You’re a wonderful writer, an amazing teacher, and know middle-grade and young adult readers so well.
LR: Why thank you Charlotte! But I couldn’t imagine writing anything about Gran without you and I jumped at the chance to collaborate on this project together – we were both so close to her and as kids we had the same fascination with her, even as we had different relationships with her as we grew up. I related to her as an insecure and seeking artist, and you are so wickedly bright —
CJV: The mutual admiration society —
LR: — she made you her literary executor. I convinced you that we both would bring very important skills to the project, and that it would mean so much to Gran if we honored her in this way together.
CJV: And that was the final twist of the arm! A present for her 100th birthday! .
LR: You felt strongly that the book should start with her abandonment at a Swiss boarding school at age 11, so my first attempt was to novelize this scene to get into her head…
CJV: And even though nothing like that is in this book, it did help us imagine her voice.
LR: It is a biography, after all, and not fiction! But now something like that is stirring in my mind…
CJV: And things really started to flow after that, in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
LR: We read and read and read, becoming detectives, mining Gran’s memoirs, journals, letters for a glimpse into how she became who she was.
CJV: It felt sacred, reading those letters and journals.
LR: It did. Do you think we could have done this before now?
CJV: I really don’t – after her death in 2007, we needed time to grieve and recalibrate.
LR: All of our talks over the years about what she meant to us and others laid the groundwork, bringing us so much joy in writing this, in listening to her voice, her legacy.
CJV: The time was right.
LR: And then the movie news…
CJV: Yes, the movie news! Isn’t it exciting!
LR: We’ve only been waiting forty years! I remember the day that we found out that it would be made into a movie. It was November 1979, and Gum (our grandfather) had taken us to the Planetarium or something. When we got back to the apartment, Gran was finishing up a meeting with Norman Lear and Catherine Hand, who were interested in producing a movie.
CJV: Yes, Catherine had read and fell in love with the book when it first came out and had dreamed of making it into a movie. It didn’t happen then, though there were many, many near misses, including the made-for-television version. It’s really happening now, though, and I know you and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way things are unfolding.
LR: I know that the movie will be different from the book, that it’s a different way of telling the story.
CJV: And Jennifer Lee [screenwriter] and Ava DuVernay [director] know how to tell a good story.
LR: I trust them to tell an amazing story.
CJV: I’m reminded that for Gran, she was honored and humbled when people responded to her work with their own creativity. And she always said that she understood that her books have a life of their own, quite apart from her. What a privilege to inspire other artists! As well as all of the readers over more than 50 years.
LR: Gran inspired and continues to inspire me as a teacher. We all have stories to tell, as much as we crave stories. Writing is an important tool for people to find their voice. So many people come to a workshop looking for the right answers, or for a formula that will help them get by. There is no formula!
CJV: No formulas, but there are forms: a sonnet, for instance.
LR: Well said Mrs Whatsit!

To come later in the month of November: Madeleine’s birthday is November 29, and there will be a special gift for newsletter subscribers.

Can you tell us what A Wrinkle in Time means to you?

October 2, 2016 | None Yet - Post a Comment

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We asked people what they thought A Wrinkle in Time is about. It means so many things to so many people, and with the movie coming out, we were curious to know: what is the book about, and what does it mean to you? Check out the conversation on Facebook (and you can leave your comments here, as well)!

Still Searching the Universe for Charles Wallace!

September 24, 2016 | None Yet - Post a Comment

3kidsDear Ones,
They are still looking for the right Charles Wallace! If you know of anyone who might be right for this role, encourage them to send in their photo and resume. And if you know people who know people (e.g. acting teachers, drama coaches, etc.) encourage them to spread the word. He’s out there somewhere!

CASTING CALL FOR LEADING ROLES in “A WRINKLE IN TIME”
A DISNEY Distributed Feature Film
Directed by Ava DuVernay
SEEKING ACTORS TO PLAY THE FOLLOWING:
Charles Wallace / 5 – 9 years old male (including twins)
to play a character who is Mixed-Race, (African American/Caucasian), and Latino. Extremely intelligent, very articulate, he feels like a well-read college professor trapped in the body of a young child. Despite his age, he has a strong, old soul–a “warrior” spirit”.
PLEASE SUBMIT ASAP PHOTO/RESUME TO: awitsubmissions@gmail.com

New Edition of Walking on Water Available October 11, 2016!

September 20, 2016 | None Yet - Post a Comment

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A new edition of Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art is available for pre-order now (shipping October 11). With an introduction by Sara Zarr.

“The joyful acceptance that readers create my books along with me and share their creation in their letters, helps me to grow, to be more daring than I would be able to otherwise. In trying to share what I believe, I am helped to discover what I do, in fact, believe, which is often more than I realize. I am given hope that I will remember how to walk across the water.”

Disney Confirms Key Casting for A Wrinkle in Time

September 17, 2016 | None Yet - Post a Comment

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Via a twitter conversation, Disney confirmed that Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling will play the Mrs W’s, the three otherworldy beings, or guardian angels, who help Meg and Charles Wallace find their father. Storm Reid (already an accomplished actress at 13) will play Meg, and she’s amazing!

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With Ava DuVernay (Selma, The 13th) directing, and a script by Jennifer Lee (Frozen), this film adaptation is breaking new ground. What a wonderful extension of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic text.

Recent news about the movie:
The Hollywood Reporter
IndieWire

For all of us…

November 14, 2015 | None Yet - Post a Comment

… Patrick’s Rune

At Tara in this fateful hour,
I place all Heaven with its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And the fire with all the strength it hath,
And the lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the wind with its swiftness along its path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the Earth with its starkness
All these I place
By God’s almighty help and grace
Between myself and the powers of darkness.
— Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet

Camilla Dickinson Release and NYC Event!

August 5, 2015 | None Yet - Post a Comment

We’re excited to let you know that on Thursday August 27th, Books of Wonder is inviting readers and movie lovers to join screenwriter-director Cornelia Duryée Moore (Madeleine L’Engle’s goddaughter) and co-producer Charlotte Jones Voiklis (Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter) for an informal chat as they talk, with some authority, about Madeleine L’Engle and illustrate their discussion with a screening of clips from CAMILLA DICKINSON, engage in Q & A, and sign DVDs. A hardcover edition of the book is your gift with purchase (limited to the first 20 customers who purchase the DVD or any of Madeleine L’Engle’s hardcover books). We may even have a surprise guest or two from the cast! If you’re in New York City, we hope you can come!

CAMILLA DICKINSON will be available on multiple platforms — digital video-on-demand and DVD — on August 25th (and is available for pre-order now!)

Fifteen-year-old Camilla Dickinson (Adelaide Clemens) has led a sheltered life on the Upper East Side with her architect father (Cary Elwes) and beautiful, but fragile mother (Samantha Mathis).

But when her parents’ marriage begins to fall apart, Camilla finds herself caught in the middle. Her mother doesn’t want her to grow up and treats her like a child, while her father is cold and forbidding. Camilla’s friendship with Luisa (Colby Minifie) offers some escape from her stifling parents, but Luisa has problems with her own parents, both of whom are alcoholic. When Camilla meets Luisa’s older brother Frank (Gregg Sulkin), an unlikely friendship is formed, and she finds herself increasingly drawn to him. Rebellious, perhaps even a bit dangerous, and different from anyone she has ever known, Frank introduces Camilla to a world outside her sheltered apartment walls.

As their relationship deepens, Camilla and Frank realize that their parents can’t help them grow up, so they must help each other. Together they discover that the future is in their own hands.

The film also stars Margaret Colin, Robert Picardo, Camryn Manheim, and Salvator Xuereb.

Oh, and here is a wonderful article by Margaret Willey that discusses why Camilla is a great story.

The Wall Street Journal Publishes an Excerpt from an Early Draft of A Wrinkle in Time

April 17, 2015 | None Yet - Post a Comment

If you’re interested in how and why Madeleine L’Engle wrote A Wrinkle in Time, check out this article that features an excerpt from an early draft. Madeleine’s granddaughter Charlotte came across it while she was preparing for the 50th anniversary edition and thought, while the final version of the book is stronger without it, the excerpt provides an interesting window on Madeleine’s thinking that has amazing resonance today.

Being Meg Murry: A Letter

September 7, 2014 | 2 Comments

A Wrinkle in Time has been adapted for the stage and performed around the country more than 100 times. Recently we received a letter from a young actress who played Meg Murry in John Glore’s adaptation. Madeleine died 7 years ago yesterday, and the letter was such a moving testimony, we wanted to share it with you here. Many thanks to Abigail, who must have made a marvelous Meg.

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(Foreword: I’m aware that Madeleine passed away in 2007, and I would first like to say I am so sorry for the loss of such an incredible human being. Those who had a chance to spend time with her are very, very lucky. However, I feel as though I must write this letter as though I am speaking to her. And I hope, in some way, she knows that.)

Dear Madeleine,

Hello. For many days and weeks, I’ve been pondering how to word this letter to you, because I have so much to say, however I’m not intelligent enough to put it all into words.

My name is Abigail. I’m a fourteen-year-old freshman in high school from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. (I do wish that you could see me as I write this, because I’m already having trouble keeping from crying.) Let me first say that I received your novel, A Wrinkle In Time, as a gift back when I was seven. I read it a few times that year, and I adored it. As a child, I guess I didn’t really understand most of the deeper meanings and subtext in your novel. As I got older, I read it a few more times and each time I understood more and more about it, and I fell deeper in love with your book.

I’ve been writing since I was very young. Mind you, I’m not very good, which is probably part of the reason why I’ve never truly finished any of my work. I hope that someday I will. Your story of getting this novel published is truly inspiring, and the fact that you never gave up on your work gives me so much hope for my future in writing. I hope you know that you’ve inspired thousands of little girls just like me all over the world. I only hope that someday I can do the same.

From when I was very young and especially into my teenage years, I’ve related to Meg in a lot of ways. I’m not writing this letter to delve into my insecurities and divulge all of my secrets to an author that I’ve never met. But, from the time I was introduced to Meg, I felt a connection.

Just for a back story, theater is a very big thing where I live. On Cape Cod alone, we have probably between 10-15 live theaters. Keep in mind that we have only about 18 very small towns total.

This past summer, I was chosen to play Meg Murry in the 2010 adaptation of your novel at the Harwich Junior Theater, the most highly rated and respected theater on Cape Cod. This was the first lead role I had ever gotten, and I was very intimidated. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and knowing your book quite well, I knew that it might be a hard one to pull off gracefully on stage. But let me tell you, I wouldn’t have traded the past three months for anything else in the world. I missed out on a lot for this production, I made a lot of sacrifices (including quitting my job!) and skipped out on plenty of important school events. But looking back on everything now, none of those things mattered to me as much as this did.

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Doing this performance and portraying such an amazing novel is the most noteworthy thing that I’ve ever done. Starting at the very beginning of May, I received my script. I sat in the back of my history class every single day, reading and highlighting and reciting the words to myself until my teacher took the damned thing away. Mind you, this is before rehearsals even began. I fell in love with the words and the way the plot flowed through the pages almost as much as I loved your words- some of them were your words, so I guess that would make sense.

And I mean it when I say that I made every single word count. I worked so hard, for two months to put something together, along with the rest of my cast and crew, that people would find to be as utterly magical as I did.

And from June 26th, 2014- July 12th, 2014 I did a performance six days a week. And every day I got to sit in my bed and witness a storm, I got to travel through time and space in a four-dimensional cube, I got to fall in love with the captain of the basketball team, I got to rescue my father from an evil, mind-controlling brain and I got to be Meg Murry. And there is nothing more that I could ask for in the whole entire world.

And that’s just on-stage. Aside from the mind control and tessering, I made relationships that I would’ve never imagined I could make, I fell in love for God’s sake, and I can honestly say that I never walked out of the doors of that theater unhappy. I have never been as happy as I was and am in the past three months of my life.

For me, being on stage and ultimately being someone else is the only way that I’ve ever been able to feel like I’m truly myself. So, I’m writing this letter mostly just to say thank you. Thank you for letting me discover who I am. Thank you for helping me to meet some of my greatest friends. Thank you for helping me figure out that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

None of this, any of it, would’ve been possible without you.

And you know your characters and your story better than anyone. And trying to figure out every meaning and every emotion behind these words has given me such a deep appreciation for what you’ve done. I cannot imagine the pride that you, your family and your friends feel for all of your amazing accomplishments. And I really do wish you’d have been able to come and see our little performance. I like to think you would’ve loved it.

And currently sitting next to me as I try to type through my tears is the copy of your novel from when I was seven years old. The pages are worn down and yellowed now, with a few water marks and stains that I can’t quite recall making. But, the newest markings in this book are the ones that have been intentionally put there. On the first few pages of your book, wrapping around the title and dedications, are the signatures and messages of the cast and crew from our production of A Wrinkle In Time. The sentimental value of this book to me is something that cannot be measured.

Some of the younger kids in the production have written that I’m some sort of a role model for them, which is something I wasn’t quite expecting. It just goes to show how many people are watching when you don’t know, and how the little things that you do can leave the biggest marks.

Whether you’ve realized it or not, you’re my role model. I truly believe that my love and appreciation for you and your work will not change for as long as I walk this earth, and beyond. I only wish that I could continue to live in a world where your imagination is reality. Towards the end of our run of this production, it got to a point where I wasn’t even thinking about my lines anymore, or any movement cues, or anything for that matter. I would like to believe that’s because I was truly living it.

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My production has been over for six days now, and there are dying roses on my desk, ticket vouchers taped to my wall, a poster tacked to the bulletin board, polaroid photos lining my bedroom, and memories that I am so incredibly lucky to have. I hope you understand that in a literal sense, your book has completely changed my life.

And I don’t believe that you’re dead. At least, not to me. People will be saying your name and writing you letters years and years after you’re gone, and probably after I’m gone, too. And deservingly. You’ve shown people all around the world something that keeps all of our hearts alive, the fact that we can be loved even though we’re different, and we can fix things even when we may be broken ourselves. I like to think that I live by many of the philosophies that your book teaches, and that I always will.

As I get older and older, I think I’ll understand more and more what it truly means to be Meg Murry, and I feel so incredibly lucky that I got to experience it. I hope that you’re sort of reading the words behind this letter, because I’m putting feelings into this that the English language unfortunately has no way to describe.

As I thought endlessly about how to write this letter, I never really came up with a good way to close it. So, I guess I’ll use your words instead.

Madeleine, I really hope that someday I find my Calvin. I know you did.

Yours,
Abigail