Lois Lowry Author of the giver and gathering blue
“There’s much more. There’s all that goes beyond– all that is elsewhere– and all that goes back, and back, and back.” - The Giver
Lowry’s Birth Lois Lowry was born March 20, 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her father was an army dentist, and her mother was a teacher. “I think I look just like every other newborn Caucasian baby in the world. I could be Bill Clinton, one day old. Or Madonna.” Lowry includes lots of babies in her books. (Gabriel in The Giver.)
Lowry’s Childhood Because her father was in the military, Lowry’s family moved a lot. 1941: “New York feels like home now, and Hawaii seems far away. We barely remember our previous home, which was near a place called Pearl Harbor…Within months, the whole world would shatter.” Until the end of the war, she lived at her grandmother’s home in Pennsylvania. “At the library, in huge glass-fronted bookcases, there were walls of books.”
Childhood, continued “I was a solitary child who lived in the world of books and my own vivid imagination.” She was a middle child with an older sister, Helen, and a younger brother, Jon. She always loved dogs. (Branch in Gathering Blue) “My mother always said that they found good homes for the dogs, on farms, where there were fields to run in and children to play with. I never entirely believed her. I think she made those farms up.” (Release and the Field) In 1948, Lowry’s family moved to Japan to join her father.
“The photograph is black and white, as most photos were in those days. But I remember the colors, as well as the textures and smells.” -Lois lowry
Lowry’s Adult Life The Korean War brought her family back to the United States. She quit Pembroke College at Brown University in 1956 to marry Donald Lowry at age nineteen. By 1963, Lowry had four children. She went back to school and graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1972. In the 1970’s, Lowry began writing stories about children, drawing inspiration from her own childhood experiences. She divorced in 1977, and she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she still lives today. She has Tibetan Terrier named Bandit.
“Take pride in your pain,” her mother had always told her. “you are stronger than those who have none.” -Gathering blue
Feeling Pain In 1962, Lowry’s sister Helen died of cancer. She was a child during WWII. She was four years old when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. She divorced her first husband in 1977. In 1995, her son Grey tragically died in a plane crash.
The Importance of Human Connections Lowry is interested in the role that we humans play in the lives of our fellow human beings. She wants others to be aware of our interdependence with other humans, as well as the world and its environment. “…our future depends on caring more, and doing more, for one another.”
Giving “I have come to believe that all of us, as we write, or read, or draw…as we hold the pages of a book tilted so that a little one can see…as we choose and wrap a book as a gift for a child…as we provide privacy and a comfortable chair, or a favorite book on a table beside a guest room bed..as we sift through memories, sort them out and see their meaning..we do, in fact, hold the knowledge of centuries. And we all become givers.”
Our Novels The Giver (1993) Gathering Blue (2000)
A Crazy World Utopia Dystopia An ideal society Coined by Thomas More in his work, Utopia (1516) Pun on words, outopia, “no place,” and eutopia, “the good place” A “bad place” An anti-utopia Usually set in the future Acorn Community Twin Oaks Community
Sources http://www.loislowry.com/index.php Perma-Bound author sketches