Sold Into Egypt: Journeys Into Being Human

Book #3 of the Genesis Trilogy. This special reissue of a classic work of spirituality from the author of A Wrinkle in Time offers life-transforming insights on the rich heritage of the Bible and shows how the characters of this ancient text are relevant for living the good life now. Includes a new reader’s guide.

Is Joseph—the deserted son of Jacob from the Old Testament—relevant in our modern age? For Madeleine L’Engle, the answer is a resounding yes; not solely because Joseph is an important historical character, but primarily because his experiences of disenfranchisement, tragedy, and profound betrayal resonate within our own society. These thoughtful meditations on obedience, prophecy, forgiveness, and compassion are masterfully woven to bridge gaps of belief, politics, education, and even faith. In this, L’Engle’s third book of her Genesis Trilogy, the author draws on the death of her husband to provide comfort and inspiration to those who suffer grief, loneliness, and doubt.

Madeleine L’Engle possesses the same ambidextrous skill of storytelling as other literary giants, including C. S. Lewis and George MacDonald. Her fictional stories appeal to generations of readers, and are equally embraced in both the secular and religious markets. But it is her ability in her nonfiction work to engage with the historical text of the book of Genesis through a dynamic unpacking of protagonists, antagonists, and matters of faith that establishes the Genesis Trilogy as a highly treasured collection of spiritual writings. The wisdom, gentleness, and insight of Sold into Egypt offers readers practical advice on clinging to hope, even in the midst of loss and disappointment.

With a foreword by Rachel Held Evans.

Reader’s Guide included.

Originally published in 1989.

Genre: NonFiction

Other Books in the Series

Sold Into Egypt


“L’Engle, who recently had lost her husband of many years at the time of writing this book, can relate thoughtfully to Joseph, who lost his family for a time. She writes with honesty, pathos, and humor in this book that is well worth the time. If you’re not interested in spirituality, this may not be the right book for you, but if you are, you will most likely find some insight in this wise woman’s writings.”
-Deborah Leiter,

“[L’Engle] writes the book shortly after the death of her husband Hugh, to whom she was married for 40 years. Thus the topics of death, grief, and uncertainty already vivid in the story of Joseph become more pronounced in her own life and writing. She speaks intimately of her loss, her grief, and identifies with the characters in the ancient text of the bible as people, not icons. … In the end, she writes about humanity, and how stories teach us how to be truly human. And just because many things in stories told long ago are not to be taken literally, she reminds us, that doesn’t mean they aren’t true.”
-Tiffany Johnson, Goodreads, 2009