This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Michele Norris.


And I'm Melissa Block.

Author Madeleine L'Engle sparked the imaginations of children and adults alike with her award-winning book "A Wrinkle in Time." L'Engle died yesterday. She was 88.

NPR's Allison Keys has an appreciation.

ALLISON KEYS: L'Engle wrote more than 60 books, ranging from poetry and prayer, to children's stories and science fiction. Her classic, "A Wrinkle in Time," won a Newbery Award as Best Children's Book of 1963. Like many of her works, it involves a struggle between good and evil in a universe that's not benign.

L'Engle told NPR, the protagonist, Meg Murry, is an autobiographical character.

Ms. MADELEINE L'ENGLE (Author): I frequently write about myself, because that's how I discover who I am. So, I'm asked if I'm like Meg, yes, of course, I am like Meg. I am Meg.

KEYS: But L'Engle said she understood why the book had such a wide appeal, particularly to women. When it was published, it was uncommon to have a female heroin in a science fiction book.

Ms. L'ENGLE: It's a smart girl's book, but it's about a girl who isn't yet smart. So, a lot of people can identify with her.

KEYS: The book tells the tale of Meg, a mousy adolescent, her brilliant and psychic baby brother, and their battle through time and space to rescue their father. Meg uses love to overcome the power of darkness. L'Engle told NPR that is a journey everyone must take.

Ms. L'ENGLE: Read any daily paper, you've got to survive. You've got to walk through the dark to get through the light. It isn't free. It takes courage to walk through the dark.

KEYS: And like nearly all of her works, "A Wrinkle in Time" deals with one of L'Engle's fundamental truths: everything is interconnected.

Ms. L'ENGLE: It gives the human being an incredible responsibility, when you consider that the smallest thing you do can have enormous consequences.

KEYS: L'Engle read the Bible everyday and believed that all art is fundamentally religious, trying to express something about this universe, she said, is a religious activity.

L'Engle died yesterday of natural causes in Connecticut.

Allison Keys, NPR News.

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