Lois Lowry's Blog

Welcome!

the verb "to touch"

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 23 May 2006 in Uncategorized

Several years ago I wrote a book that remains one of my favorites: THE SILENT BOY. It is set in the early 1900's and is about a boy who doesn't speak, and today would likely be called autistic. But in those days, there were no such terms, and the boy is referred to as "touched"...meaning "touched in the head," a phrase used commonly at that time. The young child narrating the story, who cares about the boy and understands him better than most other people, always thinks of him - affectionately - as "the touched boy."

So the title, when I finished writing the book and turned it in to the publisher, was "The Touched Boy."

But I was asked by the publisher to change it. It was at the height of the Catholic Church scandal in Boston, and the word "touch" had taken on a nasty little life of its own.

This year a new book of mine has been recently published, and its title, too, had to be changed, and for the same reason. The small sweet creature who is the central character of the book, is one of the "dream-givers"...those elfin spirits who creep silently about at night, gathering fragments of people's lives, extracting them from human belongings while they sleep.

Here's a quote from the book:

Their task is both simple and at the same time immensely difficult.

Through touching, they gather material: memories, colors, words once spoken, hints of scents and the tiniest fragments of forgotten sound. They collect pieces of the past, of long ago and of yesterday. They combine these things carefully, creating dreams. Then they insert the dreams as the humans (and sometimes animals, for occasionally they give dreams to pets, as well) sleep.

The act of dream insertion is called bestowal. It is very delicate.

The small creature...her name is Littlest...is only learning the art, but she is good at it, caring and delicate and careful. Here'a another passage:

“Well, there’s one I especially like. I’ll show you when we’re inside. It shows a man in a uniform, smiling. He has a very pleasant face.”

“All right. And so you touch his picture—how?”

“Like this.” Littlest raised one small hand and touched Thin Elderly very gently. She let her fingers flutter and linger but the touch was barely perceptible.

Thin Elderly smiled. “Good!” he told her. “You have a gossamer touch.”

Littlest looked at her own fingers and smiled proudly.

When I finished writing the book, and delivered it to the publisher, it was called GOSSAMER TOUCH. But again, the title had to be changed. The buying public, the publisher felt, would be uncomfortable with the T-word. So the book is called, simply, GOSSAMER.

Yesterday I got an e-mail from a student, a girl who had read - and enjoyed - THE GIVER. But:

"Was Jonas touching Gabe inappropriately?" she asked.

I shuddered. The book portrays a boy who is learning for the first time to experience feelings of love, the deep bonds of feeling that make us human and that make our lives worth living. He leans over a crib to soothe the infant named Gabe, a baby he has come to love, and who is sleeping restlessly.

Inapproriate touching, a student suggests suspiciously.

My heart breaks for this generation of children who have been taught to mistrust affection. And how I loathe the always-out-there predators, because of whom our language has become tainted and diminished.

Tags: Untagged

Comments

Gina
Gina
Gina has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
Gina Thursday, 14 March 2013

I had a very similar thought last night. My 2 year old daughter, my 3rd child, had been "exploring" her body. Now I know enough child growth and development to know it is completely normal, but I found myself wondering if someone (perhaps at daycare) had been "touching" her. I'm sure not, and I remember having the same thoughts with my older children.
I felt a fleeting bit of jealousy for parents who were innocent of the horrible crimes that had have been committed toward children. Parents who would redirect their children without wondering even briefly if something horrible had happened to their children.

songjoong
songjoong
songjoong has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
songjoong Thursday, 04 January 2018

manfaat qnc jelly gamat
agen qnc jelly gamat gianyar
agen qnc jelly gamat di kota jambi
cara menjadi agen qnc jelly gamat
obat tradisional agar anak lahap makan
obat tradisional benjolan di leher kanan
obat tradisional impetigo
obat tradisional kista coklat
obat tradisional kista payudara
obat tradisional kista rahang
obat tradisional pembekuan darah di otak
obat tradisional penyembuhan luka operasi caesar
obat tradisional saraf kejepit di pinggang
obat tradisional telapak kaki bolong bolong
obat tradisional tipes untuk orang dewasa
obat tradisional tumor mamae
obat tradisional untuk anak yang susah buang air besar
obat tradisional untuk menghentikan haid berkepanjangan
agen qnc jelly gamat bandung
Cara Alternatif Mengobati Ginjal Bocor
cara mengatasi haid tidak teratur
cara menghilangkan keloid
cara menghilangkan varises
cara mengobati anyang anyangan
cara mengobati batu empedu
cara mengobati congek
Cara Mengobati Diabetes
cara mengobati difteri
cara mengobati gagal ginjal
cara mengobati gatal di selangkangan
cara mengobati gondongan pada anak
Cara Mengobati Gula Darah
cara mengobati hepatitis b
cara mengobati jantung bengkak
cara mengobati kanker nasofaring
cara mengobati kanker pankreas
cara mengobati keputihan
cara mengobati kista coklat
obat kista ovarium
Cara Mengobati Maag Pada Ibu Hamil
cara mengobati mata buram
cara mengobati mucocele
cara mengobati nyeri sendi lutut
obat radang usus
cara mengobati tukak lambung
obat vertigo alami
cara menjadi agen qnc jelly gamat
walatra brain nutrition
walatra lycopene
walatra sarang semut
walatra sehat sendi
walatra spirulina
obat daya tahan tubuh
obat maag kronis
obat pembersih sisa janin setelah keguguran
obat penghancur batu ginjal
obat tumor ovarium
walatra albumin
harga walatra sehat mata softgel

dodol
dodol
dodol has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
dodol Thursday, 25 January 2018

your article is very good, you also visit my article obat herbal ambeien and obat ambeien parah. You can knowledge on my post obat batuk menahun, obat batuk menahun, obat batuk menahun. If you need a herbal medicine, you can visit my website on obat herbal ambeien and obat kelamin keluar nanah Thankyou!!

dodol
dodol
dodol has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
dodol Wednesday, 07 February 2018

your article is very good, you also visit my article obat hemoroid and mengobati ambeien. You can knowledge on my post mengobati batuk menahun lama, obat batuk berkepanjangan, obat batuk berlendir. If you need a herbal medicine, you can visit my website on obat wasir parah and obat sakit kemaluan berlendir nanah Thankyou!! Visit my post : obat herbal ambeien mengobati batuk menahun obat wasir parah mengobati kelamin bernanah obat herbal ambeien tanpa operasi obat herbal batuk menahun menyembuhkan ambeien tanpa operasi obat kelamin keluar nanah thank!

maya sary
maya sary
maya sary has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
maya sary Thursday, 19 July 2018

Obat Maag Kronis
obat maag kronis
obat tradisional tumor payudara
obat susah buang air besar pada anak
obat kutu air
obat sumilangeun
obat radang amandel
maag
obat impetigo
obat darah rendah untuk anak
obat luka operasi

maya sary
maya sary
maya sary has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
maya sary Thursday, 19 July 2018

[url] obat maag kronis
obat tradisional tumor payudara
obat susah buang air besar pada anak
obat kutu air
obat sumilangeun
obat radang amandel
yang baik untuk penderita maag
obat impetigo
obat darah rendah untuk anak
obat luka operasi
[url]

Maitri Shah
Maitri Shah
Maitri Shah has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
Please login first in order for you to submit comments