Lois Lowry's Blog


The Giver...(or not?)

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Monday, 24 May 2010 in Uncategorized
Messenger Spanish

This is a very clever bit of marketing in Spain.  The cover of the book looks, as you can see, as if it is called THE GIVER. But in much smaller print, at the top, it says (in Spanish) Book III; MESSENGER.  So it is actually the book MESSENGER, the third in the Giver trilogy.  A little deceptive?  But aside from that quibble, I do like this jacket.  Was a bit troubled, though, to leaf through the pages (I don't read Spanish) and find that the character named Kira has been re-named Nora. Wonder why. Does Kira have bad connotations in Spanish?  And I don't remember seeing a Book II, in which Kira (Nora in Spain) is the main character.  Presumably there IS a Book II (otherwise, why would there be Book III?)---but it will be very confusing to readers if the girl is called Kira in that one.

Well, there are more important things to worry about. World peace. The stock market.

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Annie Monday, 29 November 1999

Your granddaughter is such a lovely young woman--and obviously a talented photographer! Hope the rest of your time in Germany is fantastic.

Sarah Guenther Monday, 29 November 1999

I'm picturing that cemetery in the still quiet of the snow and know that it must still hurt to think of him there. He was such a very handsome "young" man.

Seymour Simon Monday, 29 November 1999

Beautiful descriptive writing Lois. Stunningly evocative of the place and your feelings.

Kim Ji Eun Monday, 29 November 1999

So happy to see you family :)
Actually, I have an urgent question for you, dear writer. Sorry that it's not related to this posting, though :)
My school had a test on your book GIVER, and there was sth I couldn't quite understand.
Were people AWARE of the phenomenon related to "wind"? I know that the Giver passing memories of 'wind' over to Jonas may give him an idea of what the "word" was. But could it be said that people in the community all 'recognized' what wind was? I mean as a sensation, a feeling. Can it be understood as a concept of "air" back and back and back, when people established the new theory by taking in the word, "air" into the phenomenon they vaguely knew as sth pleasant on a hot day, frustrating on a cold winter day?
I would really appreciate it if you could give an answer for this complicated question :)

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

It IS a complicated question and I'm not sure I have a satisfactory answer. The boy, Jonas, would acquire an understanding of the word "wind" because he would experience it. I imagine his comprehension would be gradual, like that of an infant experiencing the world in small stages. The people of the community would not understand the word or the concept because they would not have the experience. Their understanding of anything would be very restricted.

Kim Ji Eun Monday, 29 November 1999

But according to the phrase, "opening his tunic if it was a day with breeze" in chapter 7, wouldn't the people KNOW (on the premise that Jonas is one of THE people, since ch.7 is before his memory injection;;) what the phenomenon was? I'm not saying they knew the word for it, they couldn't be aware of it-but they would feel sth different externally, wouldn't they? After all, climate control didn't get hold of wind:)
Basically, what I'm thinking is that not knowing the word for sth doesn't equal not knowing the feeling or the sensation. Please let me know if my theory(?) is right. Thank you.

Kim Ji Eun Monday, 29 November 1999

p.s. I believe external sensuous cognition does not equal feelings, so what I've said above does not mean people can actually feel wind, that's been contradicted; what I've questioned is, would they KNOW externally.

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Frankly, it has been 22 years since I wrote the book, I don't have it in front of me and can't remember the passage. And it is Christmas Eve, and I am traveling to be with my family. So I will answer you hastily and say yes, you are right, one can feel something without knowing what it is, or how one should react to it.

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