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And it posed a series of philosophical questions that are no less relevant in the era of Trump and Putin than they were in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev. As Winfrey sees it, Wrinkle the movie heightens the stakes even more.
“I felt like we were making the new Wizard of Oz for another generation.” A Wrinkle in Time begins with the mother of all literary clichés: “It was a dark and stormy night.” But what follows is wholly original. She had been on something of a cosmology bender, soaking up the works of Arthur Eddington, Max Planck and Albert Einstein.
She’s also angsty and angry and troubled by the injustices around her.
The story is driven by Meg’s search for her father, whose disappearance may have been inspired by the emotional distance of L’Engle’s own.
When Wrinkle was first published, L’Engle was 17 years into a writing career that would span fiction, nonfiction, poetry and theater. The theory of relativity interested her, and she’d come across the concept of a “tesseract”—familiar to anyone versed in advanced geometry or Marvel’s Avengers movies. She would come home in the afternoon and write stories with heroes she aspired to be like.
The book is reverential of Jesus, but it also equates him with historical geniuses like da Vinci and Gandhi.
The book, the first in what would come to be known as the Time Quintet series, hasn’t gone out of print since.
As of its 50th anniversary in 2012, Wrinkle had sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. It’s still one of the most frequently banned American books, in the company of censored classics The Catcher in the Rye (profanity) and Charlotte’s Web (talking animals).
In the end, Meg learns that she has had the tools—critical thinking and boundless love—required to save her father all along. Unlike L’Engle’s previous novels, this one puzzled publishers.
Some rejected it because they believed its themes too challenging for young readers.