Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
  • Born: March 20, 1937
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Writer

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Lois Lowry is an American writer credited with forty-five children's books. She has won two Newbery Medals, for Number the Stars in 1990 and The Giver in 1994. For her contribution as a children's writer, she was a finalist in 2000 and U.S. nominee again in 2004, as well as a finalist in 2016, for the biennial international Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest recognition available to creators of children's books. Her book Gooney Bird Greene won the 2002 Rhode Island Children's Book Award. In 2007 she received the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association for her contribution in writing for teens. In 2011 she gave the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture; her lecture was titled "UNLEAVING: The Staying Power of Gold". She was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by Brown University in 2014.

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As female hormones decrease, they're replaced with an overwhelming urge to grow delphinium.
Because I have two houses, I invariably get immersed in a book and then discover it's at the other house.
Early on I came to realize something, and it came from the mail I received from kids. That is, kids at that pivotal age, 12, 13 or 14, they're still deeply affected by what they read, some are changed by what they read, books can change the way they feel about the world in general. I don't think that's true of adults as much.
'Gathering Blue' was a separate book. I wanted to explore what a society might become after a catastrophic world event. Only at the end did I realize I could make it connect to 'The Giver.' Society
I always set out to tell a good story, to create a character that young people can relate to, place them in a situation that will be interesting, intriguing, eventually suspenseful. But what I find is that after I do that, then there are themes that emerge, which teachers can then use to provoke discussion and debate.
I believe without a single shadow of a doubt that it is necessary for young people to learn to make choices. Learning to make right choices is the only way they will survive in an increasingly frightening world. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I don't for one second think about the possibility of censorship when I am writing a new book. I know I am a person who cares about kids and who cares about truth and I am guided by my own instincts, and trust them. Truth ;Trust
I don't read young adult or children's books, now that my grandchildren are beyond the age of my reading to them. I read reviews, and so I'm aware of what's out there. But I tend not to read the books.
I don't set out to transmit a message. I don't write with a political point of view. There are no religious overtones. Looking back at my books, I can say, 'Oh, yes, it is there.' But it's not in my mind when I write.
I have been fortunate. I have done so many things and enjoyed so many things and had such a great life, not to imply that it is ending, but that there aren't many things that I feel I have left undone. Life
I majored in English in college, so I read the classic dystopian novels like '1984' and 'Brave New World.'
I never, as a reader, have been particularly interested in dystopian literature or science fiction or, in fact, fantasy. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I often compare myself as a kid to my own grandchildren, who are around 11 and 14 now. That's the age kids usually read my book. And I remember myself; we'd gone through a world war. My father was an army officer so I was aware of what was going on. But I wasn't bombarded with images of catastrophe like many kids are today. War & Peace
I prefer to surprise myself as I'm writing. I'm not interested in it if I already know where it's going. So I have only the most general sense of what I'm doing when I start a story. I sometimes have a destination in mind, but how the story is going to go from Point A to Point Z is something I make up as I go along.
I tend not to think about audience when I'm writing. Many people who read 'The Giver' now have their own kids who are reading it. Even from the beginning, the book attracted an audience beyond a child audience.
I think I've written 40 books, and none of them have been heavy on action. I'm an introspective person.
I think of every book as a single entity, and some have later gone on to become a series, often at the request of readers.
I think teens are drawn to these speculative books that portray what might happen and what could happen.
I think 'The Giver' is such a moral book, so filled with important truths, that I couldn't believe anyone would want to suppress it, to keep it from kids.
I think when you've had success, publishers and reviewers and readers are willing to let you try something new if you've already proven yourself. They're excited about what you're doing, you have people interested in it, and actually waiting for it. It's empowering. Success
I turn to books for a feeling of companionship: for somebody knowing what I have known.
I was a sidelines child: never class president, never team captain, never the one with the most valentines in my box.
I was fortunate to live for 3 years in another country, and although we lived in an American compound, still as a young adolescent I did venture into the world of the Japanese with great interest and enjoyment. But many Americans never left that safe and familiar life among their own people. Life
I would say that most of my books are contemporary realistic fiction... a couple, maybe three, fall into the 'historic fiction' category. Science fiction is not a favorite genre of mine, though I have greatly enjoyed some of the work of Ursula LeGuin. I haven't read much science fiction so I don't know other sci-fi authors. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If somebody takes the time, a: to read a book that I have written, and then to b: care about it enough to write me and ask questions, surely I owe them a response. Time
If we as writers could predict what readers grab on to, we would write it.
I'm a writer; I like to retain subtlety and nuance.
I'm not terribly conversant with children's literature in general. I tend to read books for adults, being an adult.
In 1952, when I was 15 and living on Governors Island, which was then First Army Headquarters, I encountered the newly-published 'The Catcher in the Rye.' Of course, that book became the iconic anti-establishment novel for my generation.
In my writing, I focus lenses. I'm almost always seeing when I am writing.
It's interesting that so many books now are published as the first in a series. It never occurred to me. Although 'The Giver' does have an ambiguous ending. I've heard about that from readers over the years.
I've always been fascinated by memory and dreams because they are both completely our own. No one else has the same memories. No one has the same dreams.
I've always been interested in medicine and was pleased when my brother became a doctor. But after thinking seriously about that field, I realized that what intrigued me was not the science, not the chemistry or biology of medicine, but the narrative - the story of each patient, each illness. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Kids deserve the right to think that they can change the world.
Kids have no sense of appropriateness. They can ask me whatever they want. You do develop a sense of intimacy with readers, and they tell you things about themselves. During a school year, I'll get e-mails asking about the books. I'll give them information, but I won't do their homework for them.
Many of the books I loved as a kid, that even my mother read as a child, are very slow going. Today's children are not as patient. The best example of this is 'The Secret Garden,' which I adored as a child.
Most people remember being 4 objectively, as if they're seeing a movie of a 4-year-old. But me, if you ask me to think about when I'm 4, I can feel myself being 4, and I am there, looking out through my 4-year-old eyes.
My mind is always on whatever next project I'm working on.
Nowadays it seems as though people sit down to write what they know is going to be a trilogy.
Oddly, the military world is one of great sameness. There is an orderly quality to life on an army base, and even the children of the military are brought up with that sense of order and sameness. Life
Often in the past, there have been authors that were deeply disappointed in their adaptation, but that's because they haven't accepted the fact that a movie is a different thing, and it can't possibly be the same as the book.
One hopes that with a book or movie, the reader or the audience will emerge from it thinking. That's the most you can hope for: that you've raised questions that will be there for the audience to think about later. Hope
People are starting to refer to 'The Giver' as a classic, but I don't know how that is defined. But if it means that 10, 20, 50 years from now kids will still be reading it, that is kind of awe-inspiring.
People can lie in letters, but they tend not to. They certainly lie in memoirs.
People do things that turn out badly, often for the most benevolent of reasons.
People in the know say 'The Giver' was the first young adult dystopian novel.
Pretending that there are no choices to be made - reading only books, for example, which are cheery and safe and nice - is a prescription for disaster for the young.
So many of my books, I don't want to say they have messages, but they have important things to say.
Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of 'The Giver': the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.
The fact that I lost my son permeates my being.
The grand surprise has really been the fact that being an author, which to me had always implied being a private person, actually requires you to be a public person as well, and those are two separate entities to me.
There are those, I think, who are attracted to the glitz of celebrity life. I am not one of them. Life
There will always be a place for bunnies to talk in rhyme, but that's not what I do.
This may sound strange, but at a very early age, at around 3, I was aware that I was smarter than the other kids.
We live in times that are in many ways ambiguous. Maybe that's why kids want precision in what they read - they don't like that moral ambiguity.
What comes to me always is a character, a scene, a moment. That's going to be the beginning. Then, as I write, I begin to perceive an ending. I begin to see a destination, although sometimes that changes. And then, of course, there's the whole middle section looming.
When I create characters, I create a world to inhabit and they begin to feel very real for me. I don't belong in a psych ward, I don't think, but they become very real, like my own family, and then I have to say goodbye, close the door, and work on other things. Families, Children & Parenting ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
When I moved from Cambridge, I donated all my fiction. I carefully cut out pages the authors had autographed for me. I didn't want those autographed books showing up on eBay.
When I was a kid in the '50s, during the Eisenhower years, everything seemed to be working fine. I don't recall as a teenager ever worrying about the state of the future world. Future
When I wrote 'The Giver,' it contained no so-called 'bad words.' It was set, after all, in a mythical, futuristic, and Utopian society. Not only was there no poverty, divorce, racism, sexism, pollution, or violence in the world of 'The Giver'; there was also careful attention paid to language: to its fluency, precision, and power. Society ;Power
When you lose a child in an accident as I did, it's final - you're not caught in this longing for him, to search for him, knowing he's out there some place.
Writing is self employment, so you can make your own schedule.
You rehear your life by reading about what happens to other people. Life