A Wrinkle in Time author talks about choosing the writer’s life, motherhood and a villain for her novel

Columbia Center for Oral History Archives blue and white logoAs if coming out of a wrinkle in time itself, the oral history interview for author Madeleine L’Engel’s jumped out at me when I was looking for something else entirely.

That’s not a wholly unique experience since, as a relatively new curator here in RBML, I have yet to grasp the total depths of the oral history collection here. But given the fantastical nature of her most popular young adult novel, A Wrinkle In Time, and the hotly anticipated premier of the Ava DuVernay-directed film, it’s not surprising that L’Engel related materials are making themselves know.

As most of our oral histories demonstrate, L’Engle’s 1976 interview is an enthralling look at the memorable moments that shaped her as a person and as a writer. These three excerpts cover why being an only child inspired her to write at a young age, the inevitable conflict one experiences if one is a writer and a mother, and (***spoiler***) why the villain in her most A Wrinkle in Time is a brain.

The full-interview can be heard and read in Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library.