Taken from the website of Lowrys: "I always felt lucky to have been born the middle of three children. My older sister, Helen, liked our mother very much: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy he shared with Dad; they always worked on electric trains and erector sets together; and later, when Jon was older, they always seemed to have their heads under a car's elevated hood. That left me in between and where... I most wanted to be: on my own. I was a lonely child who lived in the world of books and my own vivid imagination. I lived all over the world because my father was a career military officer - an army dentist. I was born in Hawaii, moved to New York from there, spent World War II years in my hometown mothers: Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and when I was eleven I went to Tokyo. High school was back in New York City, but my family was living in Washington, D.C.I. when I went to college (Brown University in Rhode Island). I had just turned nineteen when I married a Naval officer and continued the odyssey that military life requires. California, you know. Connecticut. Florida. South Carolina. Connecticut (a daughter born there). Lastly, Cambridge, Massachusetts, when my husband left the service and went to Harvard Law School (another daughter; another son) and then to Maine - now with four children under five in tow. My kids in Maine grew up. So did I. I went back to college at the University of Southern Maine, graduated, graduated from school, and finally started to write professionally, the thing I had dreamed of doing since my childhood when I had endlessly scribbled stories and poems in notebooks. After my marriage ended in 1977, when I was forty years old, I settled down in the life I have ever lived. Today I am back in Cambridge, Massachusetts, living and writing in a house dominated by the name of Bandit, a very shaggy Tibetan Terrier. Martin and I spend time in Maine for a change of scenery, where we have an old farmhouse (built in 1768!) on top of a hill. In Maine I garden, feed birds, entertain friends, and read.. In content and style, my books have varied. Yet it seems they're all dealing with the same general theme, essentially: the importance of human connections. A Summer to Die, my first book, was a highly fictional retelling of my sister's early death and the effect on a family of such a loss. Number the Stars, set in a different culture and a different era, tells the same story: the role we humans play in the lives of our fellow beings. The Giver - and Gathering Blue, and the newest in the trilogy: Messenger - take place against the background of very different cultures and times. Although all three are broader in scope than my previous books, they nevertheless speak to the same concern: people's vital need to be aware of their interdependence, not only with each other, but with the world and its environment. His death in a warplane's cockpit tore a piece of my world away. But it also left me with a desire to honor him by joining the many others who are trying to find a way to end conflict on this very fragile earth. For my own grandchildren - and for all those of their generation - I try to convey my passionate awareness through writing that we live intertwined on this planet and that our future depends on our more caring for each other and doing more for each other."READ MORE
And I could test myself - my own courage - with it, too, because when the doors at either end of the secret staircase were closed, it was impenetrably dark. I hid in the staircase, shivering with terror, telling the narrative: The little girl was in a dark, dark place but she was very brave...Sometimes the door at the bottom opened, and a wedge of light sliced up the stairs; a maid, her arms filled with folded laundry, would find me and ask in amazement what I was doing there. And though I answered lightheartedly that I was playing, the truth is that I was not entirely certain what I was doing there, crouched and frightened in the darkness. Only now, sixty years later, do I see that I was arming myself, rehearsing panic, loss, and helplessness; assessing my own cowardice and courage, and and the same time reassuring myself that the door would always open, that the light would always find its way in.
...now he saw the familiar wide river beside the path differently. He saw all of the light and color and history it contained and carried in its slow - moving water; and he knew that there was an Elsewhere from which it came, and an Elsewhere to which it was going
The man that I named the Giver passed along to the boy knowledge, history, memories, color, pain, laughter, love, and truth. Every time you place a book in the hands of a child, you do the same thing. It is very risky. But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere. It gives him choices. It gives him freedom. Those are magnificent, wonderfully unsafe things. [from her Newberry Award acceptance speech]