Madeleine L’Engle


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

Author Quotes

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

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.

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 matter how true I believe what I am writing to be, if the reader cannot also participate in that truth, then I have failed.

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.

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

Like and equal are not the same thing at all.

Meg, when people don't know who they are, they are open either to being Xed, or Named.

Nobody can teach creative writing?run like mad from anybody who thinks he can. But one can teach practices, like finger exercises on the piano; one can share the tools of the trade, and what one has gleaned from the great writers: it is the great writers themselves who do the teaching.

Like it or not, we either add to the darkness of indifference and out-and-out evil which surrounds us or we light a candle to see by.

Most of the time nowadays we human beings are referred to as consumers. What does the consumer think? What does the consumer want? How ugly. Forest fires consume. Cancer consumes. I want us to be nourishers.

Nothing is hopeless, we must hope for everything.

It's a strange thing, how you can love somebody, how you can be all eaten up inside with needing them--and they simply don't need you. That's all there is to it, and neither of you can do anything about it. And they'll be the same way with someone else, and someone else will be the same way about you and it goes on and on--this desperate need--and only once in a rare million do the same two people need each other.

Listen, she said, cherubim have come to my planet before. I know that. Where do you think I got my information? What do you know about us? I have heard that your host planet is shadowed, that it is troubled. It is beautiful, Meg said defensively. She felt a rippling of his wings. In the middle of your cities? Well-no-but I don't live in a city. And is your planet peaceful? Well-no-it isn't very peaceful. I had the idea, Proginoskes moved reluctantly within her mind, that there are wars on your planet. People fighting and killing each other. Yes, that's so, but- And children go hungry. Yes. And people don't understand each other. Not always. And there's-there's hate? Yes. She felt Proginoskes pulling away. All I want to do, he was murmuring to himself, is go someplace quiet and recite the names of the stars.

Mostly, no matter how inadequate my playing, the music is all that matters: I am outside time, outside self, in play, in joy. When we can play with the unself-conscious concentration of a child, this is: art: prayer: love.

Nothing, no one, is too small to matter. What you do is going to make a difference.

It's a very American trait, this wanting people to think well of us. It's a young want, and I am ashamed of it in myself. I am not always a good daughter, even though my lacks are in areas different from her complaints. Haven't I learned yet that the desire to be perfect is always disastrous and, at the least, loses me in the mire of false guilt?

Love can't be pinned down by a definition, and it certainly can't be proved, any more than anything else important in life can be proved.

Mother says she can never stay mad at Daddy no matter how hard she tries. And Daddy says, 'Stay mad! You won't even let me get mad at you,' and then they laugh. Aren't you sorry for people who don't laugh, Vicky? Yes. And people who don't love music and books. And people, John said.

Now the red eyes and the light above seemed to bore into Charles, and again the pupils fo the little boy's eyes contracted. When the final point of black was lost in blue he turned away from the red eyes, looked at Meg, and smiled sweetly, but the smile was not Charles Wallace?s smile.

It's hard to let go anything we love. We live in a world which teaches us to clutch. But when we clutch we're left with a fistful of ashes.

Love does not triumph easily or without pain, but story gives us the courage to endure the pain.

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