|Directed by||:||Ava DuVernay||Produced by||:||Jim Whitaker||Screenplay by||:||Jennifer Lee||Based on||:||A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle||Starring||:||Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis||Cinematography||:||Tobias A. Schliessler||Production companies||:||Walt Disney Pictures|
Talking about 'A Wrinkle in Time' author Madeleine L'Engle — with her beloved granddaughters
Yes, she was very much Meg Murry, the painfully awkward heroine of her most famous novel.
But she was also a popular teenager, a skilled actress, an acclaimed writer — and a most beloved grandmother.
At a time when “A Wrinkle in Time” fans are eagerly awaiting the March 9 release of the first big-screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic 1962 children’s book, they are also seeing new sides of the author, thanks to “Becoming Madeleine,” a biography for tweens by L’Engle’s granddaughters Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Lena Roy.
Making use of never-before-published excerpts from L’Engle’s journals, Voiklis and Roy paint a compelling picture of a shy, unathletic girl who was so poorly regarded in fifth grade that when she won a school poetry contest, her own teacher accused her of plagiarism.
Madeleine gains confidence and skill through her childhood years, sometimes by ungainly fits and starts, often by virtue of hard work. Unfocused and forgetful in many aspects of her life — one childhood nickname was Scatter, short for Scatterbrains — she was a disciplined and determined writer from a young age, filling notebooks with observations, and dreaming of literary greatness.
“O, if only I can succeed and be a poet and author and an artist,” she wrote in one of her high school journals. “I must. O, God, give me the determination. And the will to work, and the talent. I wish I dared to say genius. I will say it. Please, give me genius.”
Voiklis and Roy discussed their book and their grandmother, who died in 2007, during a recent visit to Chicago. The following is an edited transcript