Any lover of young adult literature no doubt is familiar with the unforgettable Meg Murry, who must confront her fears and self-doubt to rescue her scientist father experimenting with mysterious tesseracts capable of bending the fabric of space and time. Meg gets help from her little brother Charles Wallace, her friend Calvin O’Keefe, and some supernatural visitors called Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Few works loom as large in the history of the YA genre as Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, the 1962 Newbery Award winner and a revolutionary book blending realism and fantasy as well as science and religion. It was regarded as the first great crossover classic, appealing to children, teens and adults and settling the template for books such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
As the author would have celebrated her 100th birthday on November 29, Library of America is publishing a landmark collector’s edition of A Wrinkle in Time – in a corrected text with never-before-seen deleted passages – together for the first time with all seven of its sequels. The set is called Madeleine L’Engle: The Kairos Novels (The Library of America), a two-volume boxed set named for the Greek word for cosmically critical moments in time.
After A Wrinkle in Time, the Murry family’s adventures continue in A Wind in the Door, which finds Meg and Calvin descending into the microverse to save Charles Wallace from beings called Echthroi, who are trying to erase existence. In A Swiftly Tilting Planet, when a mad dictator threatens nuclear war, Charles Wallace must save the future by traveling into the past. And in Many Waters, Meg’s twin brothers are accidently transported back to the time of Noah’s ark.
L’Engle carried the story into the next generation with four books that center on Meg and Calvin’s daughter Polly. In The Arm of the Starfish, Polly disappears, and Calvin’s research assistant is implicated in her kidnapping. In Dragons in the Waters, Polly and her brother Charles are on a ship sailing to Venezuela when they help solve a murder connected to a stolen portrait of Simon Bolivar. Polly receives an education in different kinds of love in A House Like a Lotus. And in An Acceptable Time, Polly is lured through a tesseract by a friend who may be hoping to sacrifice Polly in order to save himself.
The Kairos Novels is edited by Leonard S. Marcus, one of the world’s leading writers on children’s books and the people who create them. He is the author of Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon, Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth, and Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices, among other books. He reviews children’s books for The New York Times, teaches at New York University and the School of Visual Arts, and lectures around the world.
Madeleine L’Engle: The Kairos Novels is now available to purchase.
ABOUT MADELEINE L’ENGLE:
Madeleine L’Engle was an American writer of young adult fiction, including A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels. Her works reflect both her Christian faith and her strong interest in science.