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A Wrinkle in Time – Lessons in Persistence and Failure

The classis young adult book, “A Wrinkle in Time”, almost did not get made. The book is about a young heroine who travels through time and space to find her scientist father who vanished mysteriously. Publishers did not think children would understand a complex book which mixed quantum physics, interplanetary-travel, good and evil, and had a female protagonist in a science fiction novel.




When Madeline L’Engle, the author, took her manuscript to editors, she was told that the themes in the book were too complicated for children. She was rejected 26 times before finally being published in 1962. The following year, the book won the Newberry Award for the best children’s literature. Madeline L’Engle showed true persistence just to get her novel published. But that is not where the story ends.


In Los Angeles, a young girl, Catherine Hand, is sent to the library for talking too much in class. The librarian hands Catherine a book and tells her, “I think you will like this book. It’s about a girl just like you.” The book, “A Wrinkle in Time” captivated Catherine’s imagination so much that she promised herself that when she grew up, she would turn the book into a movie.


In 1979, Catherine becomes an assistant executive-producer to Norman Lear, the creator of many successful television shows like “All in the Family” and “Sanford and Sons.” Catherine convinced Norman to purchase the movie rights to “A Wrinkle in Time” and for the next ten years, she worked to get the book made into a movie but failed. Eventually Catherine moved on to become the Vice-President of Embassy Pictures, but never forgot her goal.


Finally, in 2003, she became the Executive Producer for a TV-made version of “A Wrinkle in Time.” Due to the many budget and other constraints, both Catherine and Madeline L’Engle were disappointed by the final version of the book. Catherine did not give up but continued to pursue her dream.


Fourteen years after the failed TV version and 54 years after first reading “A Wrinkle in Time,” Catherine achieved the success she desired as one of the producers of the blockbuster film.


Catherine Hand and Madeline L’Engle never gave up on their dreams and goals. Despite time, rejection and failure, they persisted until the goal was reached.


Any goal that is worth accomplishing will take persistence and may face failure more than once before success is achieved.


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