Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine
L’Engle
1918
1986

American Novelist, Poet, Short Story Writer best known for novel "A Wrinkle In Time" winning the John Newbery Medal

Author Quotes

One of our children when he was two or three years old used to rush at me when he had been naughty, and beat against me, and what he wanted by this monstrous behavior was an affirmation of love. And I would put my arms around him and hold him very tight until the dragon was gone and the loving small boy had returned.

I've got a sweater. Ben pulled off his coat and held it out for her. Here. Thanks, Ben. It's lovely and warm. Then she said, Ben, I-- I can tell you how I feel about-- about everything. I think you're the best friend I've ever had. I-- I'd lie down and die for you if you wanted me to. Honey, Ben said. When I get you to lie down for me it won't be to die.

Man is; it matters to him; this is terrifying unless it matters to God, too, because this is the only possible reason we can matter to ourselves.

My protagonists, male and female, are me. And so I must be able to recall exactly what it was like to be five years old, and twelve, and sixteen, and twenty-two, and? For, after all, I am not an isolated fifty-seven years old; I am every other age I have been, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven? all the way up to and occasionally beyond my present chronology.

One of the hardest lessons I have to learn is how not to be judgmental about people who are judgmental. When I see how wrong somebody is?how shallow it is to look at the Resurrection as a mere, explainable fact?when I see only the mistakenness of others, then I am blinded to their being children of God, who are just as valued and treasured as are those who more nearly agree with me.

I've worked with a lot of artists, Em, and they all have a need that cannot be met by another human being.

Many waters cannot quench the thirst for love, nor can the floods drown it.

My training in physics has taught me that there is no such thing as coincidence.

One of the most helpful tools a writer has is his journals. Whenever someone asks how to become an author, I suggest keeping a journal.

Kids don't hesitate to ask questions. And it's a great honor to have the kids say, "Your books have made me trust you."

Maybe that's the best part of going away for a vacation-coming home again.

My young friend who was taught that she was so sinful the only way an angry God could be persuaded to forgive her was by Jesus dying for her, was also taught that part of the joy of the blessed in heaven is watching the torture of the damned in hell. A strange idea of joy. But it is a belief limited not only to the more rigid sects. I know a number of highly sensitive and intelligent people in my own communion who consider as a heresy my faith that God's loving concern for his creation will outlast all our willfulness and pride. No matter how many eons it takes, he will not rest until all of creation, including Satan, is reconciled to him, until there is no creature who cannot return his look of love with a joyful response of love...Origen held this belief and was ultimately pronounced a heretic. Gregory of Nyssa, affirming the same loving God, was made a saint. Some people feel it to be heresy because it appears to deny man his freedom to refuse to love God. But this, it seems to me, denies God his freedom to go on loving us beyond all our willfulness and pride. If the Word of God is the light of the world, and this light cannot be put out, ultimately it will brighten all the dark corners of our hearts and we will be able to see, and seeing, will be given the grace to respond with love ? and of our own free will.

One of the most pusillanimous things we of the female sex have done throughout the centuries is to have allowed the male sex to assume that mankind is masculine. It is not. It takes both male and female to make the image of God. The proper understanding of mankind is that it is only a poor, broken thing if either male or female is excluded.

Let's be exclusive' Charles Wallace said.

Maybe the theatre isn't any place for a reasonable human being after all. It keeps your emotions in such a constant state of upheaval. It's really terribly wearing. I wonder if I could stand it, one emotional upset after the other just going on and on for the rest of my life.

No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I've been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again ? till next time. I've learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won't stay submerged. And each time something has been learned under the waters; something has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown. The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed.

One reason nearly half my books are for children is the glorious fact that the minds of children are still open to the living word; in the child, nightside and sunside are not yet separated; fantasy contains truths which cannot be stated in terms of proof.

Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.

Maybe we have to sin, to know ourselves human, faulty and flawed, before there is any possibility of greatness.

No matter how true I believe what I am writing to be, if the reader cannot also participate in that truth, then I have failed.

Light and darkness dancing together, born together, born of each other, neither preceding, neither following, both fully being in joyful rhythm.

Meg, don't you think you'd make a better adjustment to life if you faced facts?

No! Alike and equal are not the same thing at all!

Like all great fantasists, he has taught me about life, life in eternity rather than chronology, life in that time in which we are real.

Meg, I give you your faults. My faults! Meg cried. Your faults. But I'm always trying to get rid of my faults! Yes, Mrs. Whatsit said. However, I think you'll find they'll come in very handy on Camazotz.

Author Picture
First Name
Madeleine
Last Name
L’Engle
Birth Date
1918
Death Date
1986
Bio

American Novelist, Poet, Short Story Writer best known for novel "A Wrinkle In Time" winning the John Newbery Medal