Lois Lowry Wall Street Journal Interview
“When People Choose, They Choose Wrong”
Lois Lowry sat down in her home in Maine this week with Sohrab Ahmari from the Wall Street Journal to talk about The Giver and the upcoming film adaptation. She touches her first foray into writing for children, her inspiration for The Giver, and the 1994 Newbery winner’s “sensitive” subject matter.
Lowry also discusses the fact that The Giver “resists easy political categorization,” so the book’s appeal reaches across a broad spectrum. “Over the years, Ms. Lowry has corresponded with thousands of fans, including Trappist monks (a Catholic order sworn to a vow of silence), Mormons and Orthodox Jewish children, psychotics and psychiatrists, liberals and conservatives. ‘A lot of Christian churches use it as part of their religious curriculum,’ she says. ‘Jewish people give it as a bar mitzvah gift.'” She is aware that social conservatives and liberals alike “could find their views validated by this book.”
There have been many attempts censorship over the years, mostly from parents who found some of the material too sensitive to be taught in schools. “But it’s the wrong way of going about it. The best way to prepare [children] for the world that they face is to present what the possibilities are and to let them be scared of what might happen.” She adds: “I think that’s really what literature does in every realm. You rehearse your life by reading about what happens to other people.”