Lois Lowry, American writer: biography, creativity
Lois Lowry, American writer: biography, creativity

Video: Lois Lowry, American writer: biography, creativity

Video: Lois Lowry, American writer: biography, creativity
Video: The Life and Career of Lois Lowry | The Dev Show 2021 2023, September

For more than forty years, American writer Lois Lowry has delighted readers with her stories. She is rightfully considered one of the best authors in the genre of children's and teenage literature. Her books are always in demand and have received many awards. The name of the author became known to a wide audience after the release in 2014 of the film The Dedicated, based on the novel The Giver.

A little about the author

Lois Lowry was born in March 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her father is of Norwegian descent and her mother is of English, Dutch and German descent. At first, her parents gave her the name of a Norwegian grandmother, who telegraphed them that the child should have an American name. And the baby was named Lois. As a child, a shy and withdrawn child, she loved to read. At the age of 8, she decided that she wanted to be a writer. In addition to her, the eldest daughter Helen was in the family. Brother John, who is six years younger than Lois, often communicates and maintains a close relationship.

john newbery medal
john newbery medal


Lois's father, an army doctor, along withfamily moved from place to place. In 1940, when Lois was three years old, they moved to Brooklyn, New York. The girl attended a kindergarten at the University of Berkeley, and in 1942, when her father served on the USS Hope hospital ship in the Pacific Ocean, they returned to her mother's hometown of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

After the war, the family moved in with their father in the Washington Heights military housing complex in Tokyo. They lived in Japan from 1948 to 1950. Lois Lowry studied at a special school for the children of the military and immigrants. The family returned to the USA in Carline, but they did not stay here for a long time and moved to New York. Lois attended Curtis High School in Staten Island, then Brooklyn Heights where she graduated from high school. In 1954 she entered Brown University, where she studied for only two years.

Private life

In 1956, Lois married US Navy officer Donald Lowry. The couple had four children: two daughters, Alex and Kristin, and sons, Gray and Ben. Due to her husband's military career, the family moved frequently. They lived in California, Florida, South Carolina and finally settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Donald left the service and entered Harvard Law School. After graduation, the family moved to Portland, Maine.

Donald and Lois broke up as her career took off. The children grew up, and the couple found that they could not live together. In 1979, Lois moved to Boston. In Massachusetts, she went to an agency to get car insurance, and the head of the agency, Martin Small, invited her for coffee. They bought an apartment in 1980 and spent over thirty years together until his death in 2011.year.

Education and career

When the kids got older, Lois Lowry entered the University of Southern Maine in the English department. After receiving a bachelor's degree, she continued her studies in graduate school, where, while working on a term paper, she got acquainted with photography, which became not only a hobby of life, but also a profession. When she worked as a freelance writer for Redbook magazine, she designed articles with her own photographs. The editor saw talent in her and offered to write a book for children. Lowry agreed, and her first work was Summer to Die, published in the year of the author's fortieth birthday.

looking for the blue lois lowry
looking for the blue lois lowry

Lois Lowry today

Lois is now 81 years old, but she leads an active life. Not only continues to write, but also gives lectures. She enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren at her homes in Maine and Massachusetts. In spring and summer, she enjoys gardening, prefers to spend winter evenings knitting. In 2015, Dr. Howard Corwin became her life partner.

Recently, Lois Lowry wrote on her blog: “Now I am a grandmother. For my grandchildren and future generations, through writing, I am trying to convey the awareness that we live on a large planet. And our future depends on whether we care more about each other.” Lowry is not particularly religious, but respects people of different religions and regrets the conflicts that occur on this basis. Most appreciates the Dalai Lama's saying: “My religion is kindness.”

Still enjoys photography. They aregrace the covers of Lois Lowry's Quest for Blue, Count the Stars, The Giver.

lois lowry
lois lowry

Prizes and awards

The ALA Margaret Edwards Award recognizes "significant and enduring contributions to young adult literature." Lowry received this award in 2007. In addition, it was noted that her book "The Giver" became one of the most "contested books of 1990 - 2000", which was repeatedly tried to be removed from the lists of literature for schoolchildren. But "the book has taken a unique position in teen literature" and "will be debated and contested for years" as to whether it is "ideal reading" for them.

  • Lowry received two John Newbery medals: in 1990 for Count the Stars and in 1994 for The Giver.
  • In 1990, Lois won the National Jewish Book Award for Count the Stars. She was awarded the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Prize for the same book in 1991.
  • In 1994, children's book author Lois Lowry was awarded the Regina Medal.
  • In 2002, her book Gooney Bird Greene won the Rhode Island Children's Book Award.

What does he write about?

The name Lois Lowry is well known to English-speaking readers, she is one of their favorite writers. Books "Count the Stars" and "The Giver" are included in the list of required reading in schools. The writer touches on very serious topics such as racism, an incurable disease, murders and the Holocaust.

Astonishingly, in her other seemingly light-hearted writings, she also touches deeply on topical andcontroversial issues about family, friends, growing up. Whether it's comedy, adventure, or drama, Lois' novels are always engaging to the reader. She started writing in earnest when she was in her thirties and has spent time writing every day since then, and before she starts a novel, she already knows the beginning and end of a new story.

How does he write?

Lois easily shifts genres and plots, revealing to young readers a wider range of life and literature than many contemporaries offer books with similar themes and styles. But this does not mean that the voice of this author is inconsistent. On the contrary, Lowry has taken it upon herself to introduce her readers to more genres, styles, tones and themes.

Lois offers a rich selection of dishes, flavored with a thirst for justice, humor or the ability to compassion. Lowry's reading list is a well-balanced literary diet, with no place for extreme examples or deeds bordering on fantastical. This is an art where the author wins the hearts of the readers and gives them "reliable" novels that will not bring disappointment.

giving lois lowry
giving lois lowry

How is her work different?

A children's book writer has the rather difficult task of writing stories that young readers will eventually leave, "grow up" but may never forget what they read as children. The work of children's writers shows the efforts they make to help teenagers in difficult times. Leave memories of stories and characters that will be with them for a lifetime. This is the hallmark of creativity. Lowry - she prepares her readers for life and writes not just to entertain or evoke a nostalgic reading. She writes to help them become real people.


Lois is a versatile writer and writes in a variety of forms, from the Holocaust novel Count the Stars to the light-hearted adventures of Anastasia Krupnik and the fantastic The Giver.

Lois Lowry published her first novel, Summer to Die, in 1977, about a young girl who loses her sister. It was based on a bitter experience from life: Lois' sister Helen died at a young age. After 2 years, the first book of the popular series about Anastasia Krupnik was published. The writer continued this wonderful cycle with a tetralogy about her brother Anastasia - “Sam Krupnik”, the first volume of which was published in 1988.

In 1979, the novel "Autumn Street" was published, for which Lois drew inspiration from her own life. The main character Elizabeth, while her father is serving, moves with her family during World War II to her grandfather. Lois' mother also moved with the children to their parents' house during the war while Lois' father was abroad. They later joined him and lived in Japan for a while.

book by lois lowry
book by lois lowry

“Count the stars”

The 1989 historical novel Count the Stars is about World War II. The main character of the book, ten-year-old Annemarie, is friends with a Jewish girl, Ellen Rosen. Annemarie has a sister, Kirsty. Their city was occupied by the Nazis. No food, power cut. Rumors spread that Jewish familieswill be shot. Checks have begun.

Ellen's parents are helped by Liz's older sister's ex-fiancé to escape. Early in the morning, the Nazis raided the Johansen home. Annemarie rips off Ellen's Star of David pendant at the last moment. Fascists are confused by Ellen's black hair, but fortunately, Liz, Annemarie's older sister, had brown hair as a child. The girl is passed off as her and the head of the family shows them a photo of "baby Liz".

The next morning, the Johansens and Ellen go to the sea, to the house where the Jewish families are hiding. But the fascists came and there. Those gathered said that they were burying their aunt, who had died of typhus. The Nazis turned away in disgust and left. In small groups, in order not to attract attention, Jewish families are transported by sea to a safe place. In the morning, Ellen says goodbye to the Johansen family. Annemarie accidentally finds a package of more value to the Resistance. The girl, not thinking about the danger, rushes after her uncle, who dropped him.

After the occupation

After two years, Europe celebrates the liberation from the Nazi invaders. Jewish families who left the city during the occupation are returning, and they see that their friends and neighbors have kept their homes and have not lost hope for their return. Annemarie learns that Liz's sister didn't die in an accident, but that the Germans killed her after learning she was in the Resistance.

The book "Count the Stars" has received positive reviews. In addition to numerous awards, it has become one of the best-selling children's books with over 2 million copies in circulation. In 1996, playwright Doug Larsh wrote a theatricaladaptation. Since then, more than 250 performances have taken place, including at the opening of the Holocaust Museum.

lois lowry biography
lois lowry biography

“The Giver”

The second Newbery medal Lowry received four years later, in 1994, when the first book of The Giver tetralogy was published, causing a lot of controversy. Parents, confident that such serious topics should not be discussed with their children, forbade them to read this novel. Despite this, "The Giver" was included in the list of required reading books in the American school. Lois' story takes the reader into the future - to a Community where there is no poverty and war, but the life of every person is strictly controlled. The boy Jonas is apprenticed to the only person who has access to the memories of the past.

In The Giver, Lois Lowry raises age-old questions: “Who am I? Why do I live? The author unobtrusively proclaims: "The world is not perfect, but it has family, love, peace and light." Lowry's reflections on the future and the present convince the reader that these simple, universal values have no national barriers and are very significant for all of us. We, the inhabitants of planet Earth, are responsible for everything that happens in our common home.

Safe world

In the book, Lois Lowry created a cozy and safe world, throwing out violence and poverty, injustice and prejudice. All the characters in the novel are courteous and polite. The beautiful world of Jonas was meant to please the reader. But is the ideal world really that good? A world in which the number of children is determined for each woman, the extra ones were “removed”.

Prioritybirth indicated an identification number, and so that there was no confusion, the person was given a name. Nobody knew the parents. Everyone dressed the same, ate the same food. For each, a life span was also determined. There was no need for mirrors, as they are intended for a person to see his individuality in him. There is no difference in this world. The main law of life is the sameness in everything.

The protagonist Jonas was born unlike the others - he could distinguish colors. Thanks to the wisdom of his Teacher, he developed the ability to see further - he was able to gain memory, the ability to feel, love and suffer. It is no coincidence that the author calls the teacher the Giver. He gave his student the most important thing - a living soul.

Written by Lowry, The Initiate was released in 2014 and starred Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.

lois lowry
lois lowry

Lowry's other books

In 1995, tragedy struck the Lowry family when their son Gray, a US Air Force pilot, died in a plane crash. His daughter Nadine was just a baby and, despite her grief, Lois tried to make a book for her granddaughter about their family, her father, her biography. Lois Lowry published her memoir Looking Back in 1998.

In 2002, Lowry launched another successful children's book series, Gooney Bird. The main character of the book is a strange and adventurous elementary school student. In 2006, the second volume of Gooney Bird and the Room Mother was released, in 2007, 2009 and 2011, respectively, Gooney the Fabulous, Gooney Bird Is So Absurd and Gooney Bird on the Map.