New York City
A Wrinkle in Time
“As a lonely only child growing up in New York City, I read a great deal,” Madeleine L'Engle said in Books 1 Read When I Was Young. She cited Lucy Maud Montgomery's Emily of New Moon and its sequels as particular favorites. “While I enjoyed the 'Anne' books, Emily meant a great deal more to me because she, too, wanted to be a writer. She also had gifts in what we would now call parapsychology, and her ability to break through the limited barriers of ordinary living also appealed to me and helped me to widen my own horizons.”
Born Madeleine L'Engle Camp, L'Engle said that her parents, a foreign correspondent and writer and a pianist, were overprotective, not even allowing her to go to the library. After she had read everything on hand, she began to write her own stories. She wrote her first novel at age twelve. In school, she won a poetry contest.
The family moved to Europe in 1930 because of her father's health—he had been gassed during World War I. Her parents stayed in the French Alps while Madeleine went to boarding school, first in England and later near Lake Geneva in Switzerland. From her experiences came material for The Small Rain and And Both Were Young. The family later returned to the United States, and she attended a school in South Carolina. Her father's death in 1936 prompted her to return to writing.