Transcending Annihilation with Madeleine L’Engle

May 6, 2020

At Vanity Fair, Abigail Santamaria examines how the 1918 flu pandemic and threat of nuclear war influenced Madeleine L’Engle’s writing. In L’Engle’s posthumous collection, The Moment of Tenderness, the story “A Sign for a Sparrow” takes place on a radioactive wasteland. “Readers are drawn to her fictional dark worlds,” Santamaria writes, “because, like the dark places of her own universe, the light wins in the end. Bound up in L’Engle’s biography are promises of what transcends the wastelands of our pandemic.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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