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Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Tuesday, 18 March 2008 in Uncategorized

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/03/14/ST2008031403262.html?sid=ST2008031403262


That seems much too long and complicated an address, but I'm told it is the way to get to a piece I wrote that appeared in Sunday's Washington Post: a short article about my history as a child liar. Oh, make that embellisher. No, I guess I was right the first time: liar. I started out (age 5) with simple embellishment, to gain affection when I felt under-appreciated; then I advanced (age 8) to upper-level embellishment to gain admiration; finally I progressed (age 10) to out-and-out lying in order to win popularity (it worked, briefly). All of this before adolescence. Surprisingly, during my teenage years I became something of an achiever and so didn't need to create my own niche any more through such subversive methods. But it was all good training for the writing of fiction, and that's what the Post article is about.

Oddly timed, too, because of the revelation that one more book has been recalled, its author having confessed to having completely made up her own fascinating past and peddled it as memoir. Me, I call my own work fiction, and it seems to me that author should have done the same.

This week is my birthday and my painter daughter has sent me a painting of hers I had admired: a street scene from San Francisco, where she lives. Here it is, hanging in my office (click to enlarge):


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It reminds me of my own book "Attaboy, Sam!" in which the mom in the family, Kathryn Krupnik, asks her husband and kids each to make her a birthday gift instead of giving her store-bought things. So they do, and the results are disasterous. Not so, in my family! One of my favorite all-time gifts was when my daughter Kristin, then a teenager, sneaked an ordinary off-white blouse out of my closet before my birthday and then presented it to me with the collar and pockets beautifully embroidered, turning it from something ho-hum into a piece of art.

Headed to New York first thing tomorrow morning....by Limo-liner, the wonderful luxury bus from Boston...and taking my brand new Kindle, into which I have already downloaded three books.

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