A Severed Wasp

Katherine Forrester Vigneras, in a continuation of her story from The Small Rain, returns to New York City from Europe to retire. Now in her seventies, she encounters an old friend from her Greenwich Village days who, it turns out, is the former Bishop of New York. He asks Katherine to give a benefit concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This leads to new demands on her resources–human, artistic, psychological, and spiritual–that are entirely unexpected.

Originally published in 1982.

Genre: Adult fiction

Other Books in the Series

A Severed Wasp


“I don’t know another current American writer who could weave the worlds of music and the international concert stage, the claustrophobic life of a great cathedral close, and aspects of the often threatening street life of New York as Miss L’Engle does.”
―Edmund Fuller, The Wall Street Journal

“Hours of wonderful, suspenseful, provocative, soul-satisfying entertainment.”
―Norman Lear

“… [The] atmosphere of the book is what really drew me in. I loved the wisdom and compassion shown by the characters, the way they struggle and learn in and through the difficulties of life in order to find peace and resolution. This is the kind of book, I think, that leads one to do some soul examining and emerge therefrom healthier and richer of self, and therefore more compassionate and understanding of others.”
– Genessa, Goodreads, 2014

“How do you heal human brokenness? It’s a question–the main question–Madeleine L’Engle explores in A Severed Wasp. The answer is a little surprising, given that the novel is set within the close-knit framework of relationships involved with an Episcopal cathedral in New York.”
– Janet Goodrich, Across the Page, 2007


“Late L’Engle: The Wrinkles of Time, Redeemed”
Jonathan Alexander, 2015 / LA Review of Books