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Brown Alumni Magazine: Lowry – The Memories We’re Made Of


BAM cover lowry 2In this month’s Brown Alumni Magazine, Lois Lowry discusses her childhood, reading her first book–The Yearling, discovering the idea of “forgetting memories,” developing the concept of “Elsewhere,” and much more. Read below for highlights, and click here to read the full article.


At the heart of The Giver is the subject of memory. Lowry describes her own memory as “eidetic”—so visually vivid that her recollections are almost cinematographic.”

Lowry remembers her desperate need to tell someone—anyone—about her sister’s life.”

Lowry began writing The Giver. She asked herself a question: What if you could manipulate human memory? What if no one had to remember things that had once made them sad, or scared, or embarrassed?”

Lowry reimagines the aspect of memories that intrigues her the most: their individuality. Nobody in the world has exactly your memories. ‘Even if you and your twin brother went to the same birthday party,’ Lowry is fond of saying, ‘you’ll both remember it differently.'”

As time passed, Lowry thought again about what she’d wondered years before: might it be easier—safer, more comfortable—to forget the suffering in our lives?”

Lowry insists that all her characters are heroes in their own way. They all struggle with the dangers and pitfalls of reaching across a divide to make a human connection.”

Breaking down the walls between here and Elsewhere—the things that separate us from others—is, at the end of the day, the work of books. It’s what motivates us to read, and what inspires Lowry to write.”

Click here to read the full article.