Madeleine L'Engle: Biography

Madeleine L'Engle

29 nov 1918

Born in Manhattan on the snowy night of Nov 29, 1918, Madeleine L’Engle grew up to be the famous author of juvenile literature. Being the only child to her parents, Madeleine Hall Barnett and Charles Wadsworth Camp, Madeleine was very much interested in stories and wrote her first story when she was five years old.

Madeleine L’Engle attended schools in Europe and U.S and graduated with honours from Smith College. She pursued a career in theatre before publishing her first novel’ ‘The Small Rain’ in 1945. Madeleine wrote her first children’s book by the name, ‘And Both Were Young’.

Madeleine’s writing career did not go well as expected in her 30s and so she almost decided to quit writing at the age of 40. But it was then her book, ‘Meet the Austins’ got published in 1960 and brought her back in the game. She began to write a series of juvenile fictional works about the Austin family – ‘Meet the Austins’, ‘The Moon by Night’, ‘The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas’, ‘The Young Unicorns’ and ‘A Ring of Endless Light’ which brought her fame.

Apart from children’s books, she also wrote several books of fiction and poetry for adults. Her masterpiece work, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ was initially rejected by 26 publishers before editors at Farrar, Straus and Giroux accepted it. The book also won the John Newbery Medal as the best children’s book of 1963 and has sold eight million copies so far.

Apart from children’s books, Madeleine’s works also includes poetry, plays, autobiography and books on prayer.