I received a wonderful surprise in the mail today. I saw a package addressed to me and was confused because the thing I ordered from Amazon arrived yesterday (Big Bang Theory, Season 4!). So, still confused, I opened up the package and out came the book A Wrinkle in Time.
I love this book, mainly because it’s one that my dad got me into when I was young. It was a favorite from his childhood, and I really enjoyed sharing the love of this book with him. Madeleine L’Engle created a blend of science, Christianity, and real life in a way that could be understood by kids. So it’s one that I’ve encouraged lots of kids to read. And there are LOTS of books in connection to the series, so if you do like it, there’s more fun to be had.
It’s a little weird in ways, but I love some of her philosophies and backstories behind this. I came across this passage in where L’Engle discussed how she was rejected many times (From A Circle of Quiet). She writes:
I am often asked how I came to write A Wrinkle in Time.
Even with all the hindsight of which I am capable I can’t quite explain it. It was during a time of transition. We had sold the store, were leaving the safe, small world of the village, and going back to the city and the theatre.
While we were on our ten-week camping trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back again, we drove through a world of deserts and buttes and leafless mountains, wholly new and alien to me. And suddenly into my mind came the names, Mrs. Whatsit. Mrs. Who. Mrs. Which.
But why did those names come to me just then, and from where? I haven’t the faintest idea. I suppose that my writing mind, which is always at work no matter what is happening on the surface level, took over from there. I had brought along some…Einstein, a few other books on cosmology…and…the influence of these books on Wrinkle is obvious. I was also quite consciously writing my own affirmation of a universe which is created by a power of love.
After an early rejection (there were many), “X turned down Wrinkle…saying he loved it, but didn’t quite dare do it, as it isn’t really classifiable. I know it isn’t classifiable, and am wondering if I’ll have to go through the usual hell with this that I seem to go through with everything I write…[and yet] this book I’m sure of. If I’ve ever written a book that says what I feel about God and the universe, this is it. This is my psalm of praise….
…In 1963 (c. three years after the above entry), when I was in Chicago to receive the Newberry Medal for A Wrinkle in Time, a woman who was a fine editor…but who had rejected Wrinkle, said to me, “I know I should have published this book. But I wonder: if I had accepted A Wrinkle in Time, would it have been the right moment for it? If it had been published then, maybe you wouldn’t be here now….”
She was a very wise woman.
I am so glad somebody did publish this book, though. Because it was a book that got my father engaged in reading, and he passed that on to me. I know of many other people, my age, older, and younger, that this book has touched for the better as well.
And what would you know? My dad ordered it from my classroom wishlist on Amazon so I had another copy to share with my kiddos in school, for the very same reasons that I have mentioned already.
So, with a blast from the past and a thoughtful gift, a day that was not the best took a turn for the better. Thanks, Dad! 🙂