The Book

A Wrinkle in Time, written by Madeleine L'Engle, is the first and most well known book of what is known as the Time Quartet. The book was the 1963 Newberry Medal winner after it was published in 1962. The Time Quartet follows the adventures of the Murry family through A Wrinkle in Time; A Wind in the Door; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which won the American Book Award; and Many Waters.

After the Time Quartet, there are a few other books that follow the O'Keefe's–Meg Murry and Calvin O'Keefe, who are now married, and their children. These other four books are An Acceptable Time, The Arm of the Starfish, Dragons in the Waters, and A House Like a Lotus.


Everyone in town thinks Meg Murry is volatile and dull-witted, and that her younger brother, Charles Wallace, is dumb. People are also saying that their physicist father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors and an unearthly stranger, the tesseract-touting Mrs Whatsit, Meg and Charles Wallace and their new friend Calvin O'Keefe embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so, they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time. This is no superhero tale, nor is it science fiction, titlehough it shares elements of both. The travelers must rely on their individual and collective strengths, delving deep within themselves to find answers.


Behind the Book

Madeleine L'Engle has stated that any theory of writing must also be a theory of cosmology: "One cannot discuss structure in writing without discussing structure in all life; it is impossible to talk about why anybody writes a book or paints a picture or composes a symphony without talking about the nature of the universe." A Wrinkle in Time reflects a cosmology heavily influenced by Christian theology and modern physics. L'Engle wrote the book as part of her rebellion against Christian piety and her quest for a personal theology. At the time, she was also reading with great interest the new physics of Albert Einstein and Max Planck. L'Engle's ideas about human life and non-linear time play an important role in this novel and distinguish it from other spiritual and time-travel narratives.

L'Engle initially had tremendous difficulty publishing this novel because publishers could not identify a market for it among either children or adults. L'Engle insisted that she wrote for people, because "people read books." For two years, she received rejection after rejection, a frustrating process she describes at length in her autobiography A Circle of Quiet (1972). Finally, in 1962, John Farrar of Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux agreed to publish the book even though he did not expect it to sell. To the surprise of the publishing world, the book was wildly successful. It was awarded the 1963 Newbery Medal and has now been translated into over 15 languages.


Book Covers

Different Covers of the book throughout time:




Part of Philos, The Fanlistings, and Mystical Magick