How A Budding Astronomer Found Her Universe In 'A Wrinkle In Time' Before it became a Disney movie, A Wrinkle In Time was a book that inspired generations of readers. One of them was an 8-year-old who loved that the hero was a science-loving girl who didn't fit in.
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How A Budding Astronomer Found Her Universe In 'A Wrinkle In Time'

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How A Budding Astronomer Found Her Universe In 'A Wrinkle In Time'

How A Budding Astronomer Found Her Universe In 'A Wrinkle In Time'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/590976091/591266990" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The star-studded big-budget Disney film "A Wrinkle In Time" comes to theaters this week. As a book, the story of 13-year-old Meg Murry traveling through the fifth dimension has inspired young readers for generations. Now we're going to hear from one of those readers, a woman who discovered the book years ago when she was 8.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODINGTON BEAR'S "GENTLE MARIMBAS")

EMILY LEVESQUE: It was really wonderful to read a book where the hero was this girl who doesn't fit in. She has glasses. She gets made fun of at school. She's interested in things that her classmates aren't interested in or don't understand. And reading it as a kid who was the science geek in the classroom and was the girl with the glasses who was interested in things her classmates weren't, it was a really excellent character to have as an archetype in literature.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODINGTON BEAR'S "GENTLE MARIMBAS")

LEVESQUE: My name is Emily Levesque. I'm an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. So I very literally study stars much more massive than our sun. These are the stars that explode as a supernova and die and form something like a black hole, these sort of objects that really stretch our understanding of how space and time work.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODINGTON BEAR'S "GENTLE MARIMBAS")

LEVESQUE: The part of the book that I go back and reread is actually some of the sci-fi. It's parts like when they first arrive on Camazotz. Being on this alien planet where there are all these people who are essentially part of a hive mind - that felt different and that felt like such an exploration of a new part of the universe that I remember just being really enthralled by it.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODINGTON BEAR'S "GENTLE MARIMBAS")

LEVESQUE: There's an exchange near the beginning of the book when Meg and her mother talking. And her mother says, just because we don't understand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist. And I think that's - I mean, that's one of the tenets of any scientist of we may not understand something now, but the answer is probably out there. It's just a nice little nugget of explanation for how we sort of explore the world and try to learn new things.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODINGTON BEAR'S "GENTLE MARIMBAS")

SHAPIRO: That's astronomer Emily Levesque talking about "A Wrinkle In Time." She was interviewed by Nadine Epstein, the editor-in-chief of Moment Magazine, for an upcoming podcast about books that inspired us as young people called The Deep.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODINGTON BEAR'S "GENTLE MARIMBAS")

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