Madeleine L'Engle, Beloved Author Of Fifth-Grade Erotica, Dies

Illustration for article titled Madeleine L'Engle, Beloved Author Of Fifth-Grade Erotica, Dies

That Tolkien of vaginas, Madeleine L'Engle, is dead at 88. We vaguely remember loving A Wrinkle In Time, but not as much as the sequel to the sequel to the sequel to the sequel wherein the girl HAS S-E-X. With someone named "Rennie"? There was a "sharp brief pain." And then the sex scene is all in, like, free verse? If only we had done so well retaining Thucydides! (We might have a job better suited to our persistent dorkdom.) Anyway, we waited like seven years for the sharp brief pain and it never happened. Just went right in! Yeah we'd been consuming everclear. (And maybe acid?) TMI! Okay, so help us solve the mystery, what book was this? Wrinkle? Many Waters? A Ring of Endess Light? They all sound kinda smutty...

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Madeleine L'Engle, Children's Writer, Is Dead [New York Times]

DISCUSSION

I was obsessed with the L'Engle books when I was younger and read them all many, MANY times. Hence, an encyclopedic knowledge:

The sex was DEFINITELY 100% sure in "A House Like a Lotus." Polly freaks out b/c her dying mentor who is a lesbian gets really drunk and makes some sort of pass at her. So she runs to this guy she's semi-dating for comfort and initiates sex with him. They afterwards agree that it was a good thing but they should just leave it at that, etc. That's the only one (that I read anyway) that has a sex scene. Is it frightening that I remember all this so well?

And as per what someone else was saying, the books are very Christian in a lot of ways, but more in terms of philosophy than an allegorical retelling. And her outlook was not at all fundamentalist (it was comparatively very progressive in my view), just based a lot on certain aspects of Biblical spirituality