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What if...."

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 29 March 2007 in Uncategorized

And again from Dawn (thanks, Dawn, for clarifying):

It was the "what if..." comment that caused me to think about THE GIVER. You had made the statement at a conference once that I attended when you were telling us your motivation for writing the novel. "What if..." there wasn't such a difference in the "have" and "have nots"? What if there was no such thing as poverty? What if we could do away with illness,disease, grief, and all the misfortune and ugliness in the world? What if Utopia was actually possible? Jonas shows us that it is not. Even within the safety and protection of his utopian community, he was willing to sacrifice it all for the freedom to choose and live life as he had learned it should be lived. I wonder, would the ones living in the 5.03 million dollar house give up their "utopia" in order to save someone as Jonas did and escape to "Elsewhere"?


...and here, from a theater director in Pennsylvania who will soon do a performance of THE GIVER, an excerpt from his program notes:

....Listening does not seem like a brave act. There are no medals given for empathy. It appears to take no courage to be curious when someone begins a sentence with “I remember…” Yet these things can take us to some unpredictable, even scary, places.

But that’s how we know each other, how we know ourselves, and how we understand that we really aren’t all the same, but we are all connected. And that finally safety only matters because these things—our empathy, our great powers for knowledge and curiosity and connection and love, our humanity—are, even in their scariest shadows and colors, the things worth protecting.

I am just headed off for lunch with a couple of writer friends - Susan Goodman and Liza Ketchum (consier this a shameless plug for their books; what are friends for, if not that?). A brisk, sunny day in Boston. Crocuses in full bloom. (My daughter-in-law in Germany says she has tulips in full bloom there!) Sunday is Alfie's first birthday, and perhaps magically...fat chance..he will turn into a well-trained, obedient dog instead of a scampering, obstinate puppy?

And I am soliciting nominees for an informal award that some of us have concocted in memory of a good friend: The Carol Otis Hurst Irrepressible Irreverence Award, to be awarded to the event? person? book? - something in the world of children's literature - that most displays her wicked sense of the outrageous. No sentimentality allowed. Nothing serious permitted. Risqué is good.

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