Hi, I'm Karen Funk Blocher. I built this website to help Madeleine L'Engle's readers figure out what books they want to read or buy for their collections, and where to get them. This website can also be helpful to people with questions about Madeleine L'Engle herself and students with papers to write. BUT: I'm NOT here to help you get out of reading a book for school, or to write part of your paper for you!
If you have questions about Madeleine L'Engle or her
books, please explore this website before you email me your questions.
There are lots of links in the table of contents below to help you find what you need. Most of the questions I receive are already answered on the FAQ page. If you want basic information about the novels in each series and in what order to read them, start with my novels page. Another major resource is Wikipedia. For various reasons, nearly all of my recent writing about Madeleine L'Engle has been concentrated there.
If after you read this website you still have a couple of specific questions for me, you can email me through a link at the bottom of this page, and I'll answer if I can--eventually. (You'll get a faster response from my main email address of mavarin2 at gmail.com.) I should warn you, I've been very delinquent about this in recent years, but with the updating of my listed email address I'll try to do better. Thanks, God bless you, and enjoy!Karen
(sections in red are not yet written)
First off, my apologies for not updating this page much since Madeleine L'Engle died on September 6, 2007 of natural causes, after years of declining health. I will be going through the site over the next month or so (fall 2011) and try to get things reasonably up to date. Obviously, the amount of news to be conveyed at this point is virtually nil.
That said, I will be offering an introductory course about the writing and theology of Madeleine L'Engle at St. Michael and All Angels in Tucson, Arizona starting Sunday, October 9th, 2011 at 9 AM. Click here for more info.
I was probably in fifth grade when I first read A Wrinkle in Time. I think my school librarian recommended it to me, for which I owe her an eternal debt of thanks. It quickly became my favorite book, and all these years later, it still is.
It's easy to see why I loved the book at the time. Aside from being well-written, intellectually challenging and spiritually uplifting, it starred Meg Murry, a character who could have been me in other circumstances. I was nearly Meg's age, I was bright, and I didn't fit in with other kids at school, either. In the book, Meg finds unexpected friendship and overcomes extreme difficulties, and maybe the story gave me hope that my life could get better, too.
A Wrinkle in Time was also a time travel story of sorts, giving me a taste of what has since become a major interest of mine. Nearly every work of fiction I've ever deeply cared about, from Star Trek to Doctor Who, Anne McCaffrey's Pern books to the work of James Thurber, Back to the Future to Quantum Leap, has time travel in it somewhere.
When I was a little older, I found one other L'Engle book--and only one--in the card catalogue at Manlius Public Library in Manlius, New York. It was Ilsa, and it prompted me to visit the downstairs (adult) section of the library for the first time, with special permission from the librarian. I only read about half of Ilsa at the time. Frankly, I didn't like it and wasn't ready for it. I didn't have another opportunity to read the book until 1996.
I still loved the story of Meg and Charles Wallace and Calvin in A Wrinkle in Time, and I liked the few other titles I eventually found at the Fayetteville Free Library. When I discovered A Wind in the Door in hardback at Logos Books in Syracuse, I bought it eagerly. A Swiftly Tilting Planet soon followed, and by the time I left college, got married, and moved to Columbus, Ohio, I had several L'Engle hardbacks of my own. I've been going to bookstores (new and used) and library book sales ever since. I now have 80 L'Engle books, including multiple editions of some titles, plus audio tapes of the Time Trilogy and an interview, three books about Madeleine L'Engle and her work, and five books and six magazines to which L'Engle contributed a foreword, story or essay.
Until recently I had limited interest in the non-fiction titles, but my appreciation for them has grown in recent years, as has my appreciation for the more adult-oriented novels. Even so, my favorite books of hers are still the ones about the Murrys and Austins and O'Keefes. I particularly enjoy the scope and depth of the world she has built up in her stories, as familiar characters and family names reappear in different books and even different series. When Canon Tallis or Suzy Austin or Dr. Calvin O'Keefe turns up unexpectedly in one of her books, it's as if an old and dear friend has just appeared on my doorstep.
I've met Madeleine L'Engle exactly once, at a speaking engagement in Columbus, Ohio in the early-to-mid 1980s. She spoke about astronomy and other subjects, and afterward I had a thirty second conversation with her as she signed my copy of A Ring of Endless Light . I asked why Charles Wallace Murry hadn't appeared as an adult in any of her books, and whether that meant he was dead. Her answer was (as I recall): "Charles Wallace is alive and well until I hear otherwise." One of her books eventually confirmed that Charles Wallace Murry was indeed alive as Poly and Charles O'Keefe were growing up, but was out of contact with the O'Keefes for some mysterious reason. I'd still love to read that story! Lately I've also been wondering whether the parents of Meg and Charles and Sandy and Dennys had one or more adventures of their own before Meg was born.
Similarly, I've sent just two letters to Madeleine L'Engle all these years, although I've composed many more on paper, on my Mac or in my head. The first letter I actually sent was about Many Waters. I was deeply disturbed at the time that as scientific a universe as that of the Murrys and O'Keefes could contain a literal Noah and his Ark, even in Earth's distant past. Madeleine promptly sent me a brief but courteous reply, even though (as she informed me) her husband, Hugh Franklin, had just died. I felt badly for having bothered her, albeit unknowingly, at such a time, but her compassion and courtesy only increased my already enormous respect for her, both as a writer and as a person. (My second letter to her, sent in May 2000, thanked her for my many years of enjoyment of her books, and offered my condolences about her son's death.)
Over the years, my collection of L'Engle books has continued to grow, and I've read my way through most of them many times over. Once, when I lost a new job I hated, my first reaction was, "Oh, good. Now I'll have more time to read my L'Engle books." (I did get upset, though, a few seconds later.) Even when we had to move into a smaller house, and most of my books went into boxes, the L'Engle collection stayed out where I could get at it.
Every time I found a new book for the collection, I used to try to figure out what order to put the books in, and what I still needed, using the lists in the front of the various books as a guide. It didn't work very well. Many of the lists were far from complete, and what kind of book was A Cry Like a Bell, anyway? So in 1996, I tried to solve this problem by going online, hoping to find a good bibliography so that I'd know what had been published and what sort of book each one was. I was a little shocked to discover that there did not appear to be a complete listing of Madeleine L'Engle's books anywhere online, at least that the search engines I tried could find. (I have since learned that there are several major L'Engle sites, although search engines tend not to find them.) I therefore compiled my own listing from various sources, primarily my own book collection, and put the result online myself.
Since then, I've learned a lot, cataloging further titles from the several online sources I failed to find originally, from readers' email, from Amazon.com, and from whatever notes I could scribble at Borders Books & Music or at Barnes & Noble. In addition, through Carole Chase's book, various online sources and readers of this web site, I've learned of many other titles, especially books to which L'Engle contributed only a short story (always "Poor Little Saturday") or a foreword or introduction. As a result, this site is undergoing a series of upgrades, which will probably take me well into 2001 to complete.
For space reasons, the crossover information (i.e., characters
who appear in other books) is sketchy at best in the table below.
A good albeit outdated guide to crossovers and character
family trees is found at the beginning of Many Waters.
My in-depth bibliography pages by series, accessible from The Novels
of Madeleine L'Engle, includes hyperlinked references to many
of the major crossover characters. Another fan web site, "Flying Dreams,"
has an in-depth discussion of both crossover characters and the
characters who are related (ancestors, cousins, spouses, etc.)
to the characters in other books. See the novels page linked above
for a link to this other site. Any additions, corrections, or
clarifications will be gratefully accepted. I would also appreciate
hearing from book dealers and others who can sell me copies of
the out of print titles I still need (the ones listed in maroon).
When this web site is completed, if ever, there will be more specific information on each book's category, binding, ISBN number, publishers,
etc., all found on separate pages devoted to particular categories
of books. So far I've managed to do this only with the novels. Any
help with publisher and binding details will be greatly appreciated,
since I do not own every edition of every book, and online bookstores
are often less than specific in this respect. My goal is to make
this web site as complete and accurate as possible.
Each page about the various fictional series will also eventually include brief biographical sketches of the major characters introduced in the books listed on that page. I've tried to build a master timeline, but it didn't work, given the contradictions and very tenuous clues to the "kairos" and "chronos" in the various books. I have, however, created a list of the approximate order in which the books take place. That can be found on my The Novels of Madeleine L'Engle page.
(Purchases made through the link above help to support St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Tucson, Arizona.)
|18 Washington Square, South: A Comedy in One Act||1944||AP||unknown|
|The Small Rain (aka Prelude1)||1945, 1968 etc.||AF||Katherine Forrester||Felix Bodeway |
Dr. Charles Bejart
|Ilsa||1946||AF||Henry Porcher||Renier and Porcher families|
|And Both Were Young||1949, 1983 (revised)||YAF||Philippa "Flip" Hunter||Dr. Charles Bejart (mentioned)|
|Camilla Dickinson (aka Camilla)||1951, 1965 (revised)||AF||Camilla Dickinson||Frank Rowan|
|A Winter's Love||1957, 1983,1997||AF||Bowen family||Mimi Oppenheimer|
|Meet the Austins||1960||YAF||Austin family|
|A Wrinkle In Time||1962||YSF||Murry family||
Drs. Shasti & Shen-Shu (mentioned in passing)
|The Moon By Night||1963||YAM||Austin family||Zachary Gray, Leo Rodney|
|The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas||1964, 1984||CF||Austin family|
|The Arm of the Starfish||1965||YSF||Adam Eddington||O'Keefe family2, Canon Tallis|
|(The) Love Letters||1966, |
|The Journey with Jonah||1967||CP||Jonah (the prophet)|
|The Young Unicorns||1968||YSF||Austin family||Mr Theotocopoulous, Canon Tallis, Josiah "Dave"
Davidson, Emily Gregory |
Drs. Shasti & Shen-Shu
|Dance in the Desert||1969||BF||Jesus|
|Lines Scribbled On an Envelope||1969||PO||poetry|
|The Other Side of the Sun||1971||AF||Stella Renier|
|A Circle of Quiet||1972||CJ||autobiographical||Canon Tallis|
|A Wind in the Door||1973||YSF||Murry family|
|Prayers for Sunday||1974||PR||prayers|
|Everyday Prayers (aka Prayer for Every Day)||1974||PR||prayers|
|The Summer of the Great-Grandmother||1974||CJ||autobiographical||Canon Tallis|
|Spirit and Light: Essays in Historical Theology||1976||TE||theology||Canon Tallis|
|Dragons in the Waters||1976||YAM||Simon Renier, O'Keefe family||Mr Theotocopoulous, Canon Tallis, Renier family|
|The Irrational Season||1977||CJ||autobiographical / religious|
|The Weather of the Heart||1978||PO||poetry / religious|
|A Swiftly Tilting Planet||1978||YSF||Murry family|
|Ladder of Angels: Scenes from the Bible Illustrated by Children of the World||1979||BR, |
|Bible stories, essays & poems|
|A Ring of Endless Light||1980||YSF||Austin family||Adam Eddington, Zachary Gray, Leo Rodney, Katherine Forrester Vigneras|
|Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art||1980||LE||literary / religious|
|The Anti-Muffins||1980||CF||Austin family|
|The Sphinx at Dawn||1982||BF||Jesus|
|A Severed Wasp||1982||AF||Katherine Forrester Vigneras||Suzy Austin Davidson family, Mimi Oppenheimer, Felix Bodeway, Emily Gregory, Philippa Hunter|
|And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings||1983||BR||autobiographical / religious|
|A House Like a Lotus||1984||YAF||O'Keefe family||Zachary Gray, Virginia Bowen Porcher, Frank Rowan|
|Trailing Clouds of Glory: Spiritual Values in Children's Literature (written with Avery Brooke)||1985||LE||literary/religious|
|Dare To Be Creative!||1985||LE||lecture at Library of Congress|
|Separation From The Stars||1986||LE||probably a lecture at Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN|
|A Stone for a Pillow: |
Journeys with Jacob
|1986||BR||autobiographical / biblical|
|Many Waters||1986||YSF||Murry family|
|A Cry Like a Bell||1987||PO||religious / poetry|
|Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage||1988||CJ||autobiographical|
|Sold Into Egypt: Joseph's Journey Into Human Being||1989||BR||autobiographical / biblical||Joseph (Old Testament)|
|Moses, Prince of Egypt: Storyteller's Edition3||1989||BF||Biblical/tie-in||Moses (Old Testament)||From This Day Forward4||1989||BR||unknown||unknown|
|An Acceptable Time||1989||YSF||O'Keefe family||Murry family, Zachary Gray|
|The Glorious Impossible: |
Jesus Christ & His Family (illustrated by Giotto frescoes)
|Certain Women||1992||AF||Wheaton family||Canon Tallis, Charlotte Napier (the latter as a character in a play)|
|The Rock That is Higher: |
Story as Truth
|1993||LE||literary / religious|
|Anytime Prayers (revision of Prayer for Everyday)||1994||PR||prayers|
|Troubling a Star||1994||YAM||Austin family||Adam Eddington|
|Penguins & Golden |
Calves: Icons and Idols
|1996||TJ||autobiographical / religious|
|A Live Coal in the Sea||1996||AF||Dr. Camilla Dickinson||Frank Rowan|
|Winter Song: Christmas Readings |
(Edited by Madeleine L'Engle & Luci Shaw)
|1996||LE, PO||literary / religious / poetry||Austin family (short story)|
|Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts & Reflections (with Carole F Chase)||1996||CQ||inspirational / religious5|
|Mothers and Daughters (photos by L'Engle's daughter Maria Rooney)||May '97||LE, |
|inspirational / photographic / poetry|
|Friends for the Journey (with Luci Shaw)||Jun '97||LE||autobiographical / religious|
|Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation||Sep '97||TJ||biblical|
|Miracle on 10th Street & Other Christmas Writings||Oct '98||LC||Christmas-related fiction, non-fiction & poetry||Austin family (2 short stories), Topaze (from A Severed Wasp)|
|Mothers and Sons (photos by L'Engle's daughter Maria Rooney)||Mar '99||LE||inspirational / photographic|
|A Prayerbook for Spiritual Friends||Aug '99||PR||prayers|
|A Full House: An Austin Family Christmas||Oct '99||AF||Christmas-related fiction||Austin family|
|The Other Dog (illustrated by Christine Davenier)||Mar '01||CF||children's fiction |
about Touché L'Engle-Franklin
|Madeleine L'Engle's own family in 1947.|
|The Genesis Trilogy||Apr '01||BR||autobiographical / biblical||And It Was Good, A Stone for a Pillow, and Sold into Egypt in one volume|
|Madeleine L'Engle, Herself: Reflections On a Writing Life (compiled by Carole F. Chase)||Sep '01||LE||Passages about writing from L'Engle's books, recorded workshops, etc.|
|The Ordering of Love: New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle
||poetry, included 18 previously unpublished poems
|The Joys of Love6||Apr '08||AF||adult novel||Elizabeth Jerrold|
|The Eye Begins to See7||not completed||AF||adult novel||Meg Murry O'Keefe, O'Keefe family|
1. Prelude is a revised version of The Small Rain, intended for younger readers. The novel was later republished under the original title.
2. The O'Keefe family consists of the former Meg Murry of the Murry family, her husband, Dr. Calvin O'Keefe (who also appears in the Murry family novels), and their many children, especially Poly (later called Polly) and Charles.
3. Moses: Prince of Egypt: Storyteller Edition is referenced in the later edition of Suncatcher by Carole F Chase,and a reader named Cindy found a reference to it at one time on Barnes & Noble's web site as well as on the Amazon site. When she ordered it, she received a children's book by someone else, based on the Prince of Egypt movie. When I researched the title years ago, no online references to this book actually let you order it, so for years I assumed it never came out, at least not as written by Madeleine L'Engle. However, as of October 2011 I see used copies available in paperback, mostly from the UK, with additional references to a hardback that is inevitably out of stock. It worries me that the only image of this book online is that same slightly out-of-focus, cut off at the bottom image Amazon uses for the title, but I'm guessing that it received some distribution after all - but mostly not in the U.S. The cover pictured does not quite match the title listed, and credits composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz (who wrote the music and lyrics for Godspell and other shows) as the writer. News articles state that L'Engle was contracted to write a tie-in book, and Carole Chase's book Suncatcher does not list it in the book chronology. I will be ordering a used copy of this book to determine whether there was any L'Engle involvement in the title as published. I'm guessing not.
4. From This Day Forward appears to have been published by Lion Hudson PLC in the UK in 1989. A few copies can be found online from British sources, but I have not found a single image of the cover or description of the book.
5. Glimpses of Grace is a collection of inspirational quotations from L'Engle's other books, selected by Carole F Chase, who also wrote a literary biography titled Madeleine L'Engle, Suncatcher: Spiritual Vision of a Storyteller (San Diego: LuraMedia, 1995). An expanded version of this book was published by Innisfree Press in August 1998 as Suncatcher: A Study of Madeleine L'Engle and Her Writing. I am indebted to Ms. Chase for some of the bibliographical and biographical data provided here, taken both from her book and from her email. Thank you!
6. The Joys of Love is an early novel from the period (late 1950s to early 1960s) when L'Engle had trouble getting published, which ended with the publication of A Wrinkle in Time. A manuscript was rediscovered several years ago by L'Engle's granddaughters, and published posthumously.
7. I really should delete The Eye Begins to See from this listing, since it was almost certainly never completed by L'Engle and is unlikely to be finished by someone else. But I've listed it since this website began, and I'm finding it hard to give up upon this long-awaited book about Meg as an adult.
|Please note that book titles in maroon are needed to complete my personal collection. (So are the ones in navy, but I can find most of those if I have the money to spend.) Please email me if you have any copies of the titles listed in maroon for sale at a reasonable price (roughly $10-$50, depending on format, condition, and scarcity). Also please email me with any corrections, additions, or clarifications.|
|AF = Adult Fiction||AP = Adult Play||BF = Biblical Short Fiction|
|BR = Biblical Reflections||CF = Children's Short Fiction||CJ = Crosswicks Journal|
|CP = Children's Play||CQ = Collected Quotations||LC = Literary Collection|
|LE = Literary/Spiritual Essays||PO = Poetry||PR = Prayers|
|TE= Theological Essays||TJ = Theological Journal|
|YAF=Young Adult Fiction||YAM=YA Mystery/Suspense Fiction||YSF = YA Science Fiction / Fantasy|
Books That Aren't Listed Here (Yet):
For years I've been intermittently compiling a list of books to which Madeleine L'Engle has contributed an introduction, or a foreword, or an afterword, or an essay, or even a short story or poem. In other words, they are books primarily written by other people, but contain some material by Madeleine L'Engle. A few notable examples are First Words: Earliest Writing from Favorite Contemporary Authors, the introduction to a compendium of Curious George stories, Miracles of Christmas (which probably has the short story "Miracle on 10th Street" in it), and Second Sight: Stories for a New Millennium, which features a short story about Rob Austin. I hope to have the list compiled and online sometime in the next month or so, if I can drag myself away from the novels I'm revising for submission long enough to do the work!
|Madeleine L'Engle FAQ Page, with a brief biography, answers to frequently asked questions, and a guide to finding the L'Engle books you're missing (except maybe Ilsa), plus a short list of books about Madeleine L'Engle and her writing.|
|The Novels of Madeleine L'Engle, with links to in-depth bibliographies and to other L'Engle-related web sites.|
|(coming eventually) Other Works By Madeleine
L'Engle, more-or-less divided by category. I'll be putting this together any year now. |
|Karen Funk Blocher's Credos And Curios - my personal web page, with my bio, bibliography, personal philosophy, and pictures of my dogs. This page also has links to my Project Quantum Leap site and other websites by myself and others.|
|Welcome to Mâvarin
- entry page to a web site about my unpublished series of fantasy
novels. The site contains sample text from the books plus
apocryphal "otherworld journal entries."
|Recommended Authors page - you know L'Engle is on it. Can you guess which other writers I recommend?
|Outpost MÔvarin - my blog. Thoughts on ethics, religion, writers and writing, language and more.
|(Some of) My Favorite Quotes - favorite quotes from all over the place.|
|Contents copyright 1997-2011 by Karen Funk Blocher except where otherwise noted. Last updated 10/7/11.|