Lois Lowry's Blog


getting it right

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Sunday, 30 March 2008 in Uncategorized


This is a banyan tree, one of several, at Selby Gardens in Sarasota, where I spent the past almost-a-week. Strictly vacation, visiting good friends who winter there, and a much-needed vacation after a lot of travel...and more to come: Detroit next weekend, then Baltimore,Washington DC, Philadelphia, and finally, Los Angeles.

Today was the PEN Hemingway event at the Kennedy Library (such a gorgeous location on a clear day with blue sky). I remember speaking of that event on this blog a year ago, when Joyce Carol Oates was the keynote speaker. This year it was Alice Hoffman, and I was the one to introduce her, a real privilege, since Alice has been a friend for many years...but also daunting, wanting to get it right and do her justice. I remember that last year it surprised me that JCO was funny; I hadn't expected that. No surprises with Alice, that she was articulate and smart and political.

Patrick Hemingway , Ernest Hemingway's son, read the opening passage of "A Farewell to Arms" and read it well. I haven't re-read that book in years but the opening pages...and the ending...have stayed with me; I could almost recite the words as he read. The Kennedy Library houses the Hemingway archives and papers, including the 44 versions of the last page of "A Farewell to Arms." I remember reading once that when asked why he rewrote and rewrote it, EH replied: "To get the words right."

An email today from my German daughter-in-law tells me that my granddaughter and her good friend, Annika, have just received the book "The Willoughbys," which I dedicated to the two of them. Annika will have to wait until it is translated into German because she is not proficient yet in English, but Nadine, my granddaughter, reads (and speaks) both languages.

IN the waiting mail when I returned from Florida, incidentally, were several copies of THE GIVER in Vietnamese, plus other copies in a language I am uncertain of...perhaps Serbo-Croatian?...with my name spelled Luis Lauri. Click these to enlarge.


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Sarah Miller Monday, 29 November 1999

I suspect this is the blog quote in question:
'I’m always curious to hear authors talk about their own favorite books. I was once at an author event where a kid asked Lois Lowry if she reads children’s books and she said, “I’m an adult and I read adult books.” As an adult who reads all kinds of books, I was sorry to hear that. (But if reading mainly adult books causes her to write such brilliant chidren’s books as THE GIVER and the “Anastasia Krupnik” series, who am I to say she is wrong?)'
To me, it didn't come of as waspish at all - neither on your end of the quote nor his. I read it more as disappointment. Don't we all like to think people we admire share our tastes and preferences?

Robin Monday, 29 November 1999

Dear Lois,
I have just returned from Portland, too, where my daughter-in-law and I enjoyed the Sunday afternoon performance of Gossamer. We both loved the book, and we both loved and were very moved by the stage performance. It was beautifully written for the stage and very nicely performed -- and was obviously a special experience for each of the families in the audience. It certainly was for us!

janelle Monday, 29 November 1999

Ok. Loved Gossamer!! I was at the Sunday 5pm show. I looked around, hoping to see you but obviously didn't spot you. I heard staff telling parents/cautioning them about young children and was shocked that parents did not listen to the staff. People never stop amazing me.
And did you notice that "November" is misspelled on the reader board? tee hee hee

Laura Blum Monday, 29 November 1999

Oh- have to tell you. I read your new book: The Willoughbys and thought it funny/clever- since I've read all the books mentioned in the story as well.
keep writing!

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