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Such a Full Sea

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Friday, 16 January 2015 in Uncategorized

I am in Hawaii, my birthplace. But I was born on Oahu, and this trip I am exclusively on Kauai, my favorite of the islands. I am writing this while sitting on the lanai of my rented condo, listening to the waves break on the beach nearby, and I am shaded by some palms, and birds are singing.

I am here with a friend and in our days here we have done a lot of driving, oohing and ahhing at scenery, walking on beaches, sipping wine, laughing, etc..all the things one does on avacation wiht a friend. And reading.  Here is a picture of my feet on a beach at the north end of Kauai...I was loafing there while my friend did a hike that was a little too rugged for me (I knew that, because I did it ... the famous Kalalau Trail along the NaPali Coast... 30 years ago with Martin. And it was too much for me even then!)

And in the picture is the book I was reading on that beach, Such a Full Sea.  I am a fan of Chang Rae Lee's work, though I am not (maybe surprisingly) a particular fan of post-apolcolyptic fiction, and this book is that. (my personal exception has been Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which I lked very much)

But I am liking this book a lot and also reading it with an odd feeling of familiarity. Many years ago, when I wrote a post-apolcolyptic book called Gathering Blue, I wrote a descritpion of a ceremony in which the people chant, each year, the history of their world (there is no longer any written record).  One part of their chant consists of the unitelligible words:

BOGO TABAL

TIMOR TORON

TOTOO NOW GONE

(I think I have that right. i don't have the book here with me)  Discerning readers can decipher that and realize that it says:

BOGOTA. BALTIMORE. TORONTO, TOO. NOW GONE.

Chang Rae Lee's book is set in the destroyed city once called Baltimore, now known as B-Mor. So in an odd coincidence it feels to me like an extension, an expansion, of my own reference. And his main character is a young girl who, at the outset of the book, works in the fish production sector, aagain coincidentally like my charater Claire in the book Son, who works in the fish hatchery of her futuristic community.

I doubt very much if Chang Rae Lee ever read either book. I think it is simply an interesting coincidence and it makes my reading of his book even more enjoyable because I can feel the existence of the world that I envisioned, conjoined with the facsinating world that he has created and expanded.

For some reason this photo is inserted sideways. My apologies. But anyway: you get the idea.

 

Aloha!

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Comments

Adriane Lohsl
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Adriane Lohsl Thursday, 22 January 2015

Aloha Lois!

As a child I read the Anastasia books. I'm glad to see via your blog you are bringing her back! You are the first author that I can remember reading and actually enjoying their books. You could say you assisted in me actually liking to read!

I stumbled upon you again while chatting with a new friend. He mentioned that his favorite book of all time was The Giver. Like any new relationship and learning about each other (and may be a bit stalkerish) I decided to check it out. Even though I am 30 years old and the age demographic is much younger... I truly enjoyed reading it. I also enjoyed seeing that you had expanded. I was thankful that I didn't have to wait for a resolve on what has happened to Jonas and Gabriel. Discussing with my friend after reading Giver (and not peeking) we both felt he had contracted hypothermia and died. I was looking to see when you would be doing a book signing again... I tried to look on your calendar and as far as I can see it's blank. Are you still doing book signings? I would love to get him a copy of Giver (he already has one) that is signed by you. How do I do this? I look forward to your blog...enjoy your trip!

Lois Lowry
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Lois Lowry Friday, 06 February 2015

Unfortunately the calendar on the website is not working...I can't add information to it. You can email me by clicking on (guess what) EMAIL ME on the first page of my website, and let me know where you are located...then i can tell you if I will be in your area in the future.

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