Lois Lowry's Blog


Odds and Ends

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Saturday, 20 February 2010 in Uncategorized
Italian GIVER

This is the Italian translation of THE GIVER, about to be released in Italy...somewhat surprising, after these many years in which it has been translated into more than 25 other languages already. But...to indulge in a cliché....better late than never. This coming week I am to be interviewed by a journalist from La Repubblica, described as an important periodical in that country; and I've been invited to a book festival in Tuscany on the fall (not sure that I'll get there, but it would be nice).

IN the meantime, in this country, I now have four books off my desk and in the hands of publishers, so though I have interesting projects coming up, at the moment the only thing pressing, and with a deadline, is, ugh taxes.

Those four?  The Birthday Ball, coming out in April. Here's an upcoming review from ALA Booklist:

BB review copy

BB jacket

Also, a new book---currently being illustrated (a chapter book, though, not a picture book) and tentatively titled BLESS THIS MOUSE.

And, to be included in a new launch of the old Dear America series, a book called LIKE THE WILLOW TREE, set in Maine in 1918-1919.

And I just sent off the month-of-February  book in the Gooney Bird series. The illustrator, Middy Thomas, had asked if I could move them out of the classroom---smart idea---and as a result,  much of their time in this book is spent working on a project in the snowy playground. Too soon for illustrations, but Middy did some doodling sketches of Gooney and pals in outdoor gear:

Gooney outdoors
I especially like the hat!  Middy's daughter lives and teaches in Finland (she went there as an exchange student many years ago and refused to come home!) and she tells me this hat's origin is Estonia.  And just to conclude with something unrelated to children's books: Middy has a Finnish grandson who is a heartthrob and rock star there and throughout Europe. His name is Henrik Rinne, and he is with a band called St. Felix:

Henrik copy

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anne Monday, 29 November 1999

I am so sorry to read about the impossibility of the pond - such a wonderful vision and such a sad reversal of energy. It just wasn't meant to be, so now you can move on to another dream.

ojimenez Monday, 29 November 1999

Coincidentally, I started FREEDOM last night. Probably succumbed to the hype. I'm already struggling with it.
I understand that there is more than reading for plot, character development, etc.. etc.. I am trying very hard as a "common reader" to enjoy the book, but for some odd reason, I feel I'm forcing myself to turn pages. I'm torn between forcing myself to continue, and having the freedom to put the book down and move on...
Cold, wet leaves
Floating on moss-coloured water
And the croaking of frogs—
Cracked bell-notes in the twilight
"The Pond " --Amy Lowell
So sorry about the pond.

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

So far, FREEDOM seems to me reminiscent of Updike's Rabbit books, in characterization and tone...not a shabby analogy, but a place I've been before. But I have gone back to re-read Michiko Kakutani's NYT review and she says: "As the novel proceeds, Mr. Franzen delves further into the state of mind of his creations, developing them into fully imagined creations....confused, searching people capable of change and perhaps even transcendence"

ojimenez Monday, 29 November 1999

Echoes of Updike briefly passed through my mind, as in "Couples" I read a long, long time ago.. didn't care for it much when I read it, perhaps that's what's blocking my progress with Freedom.

Lsparkreader Monday, 29 November 1999

Hi Lois,
Just finished THE SURRENDERED, and many thanks again for the recommendation. A powerful book indeed--I think much of the story will stay with me (not an easy feat these days, given my inefficient memory...).
However, I found in this book as in most adult fiction I read these days that there is too much flab--too many overly wordy passages, sometimes lovely in their own right but not carrying their weight in service of the story. The more is more school of writing. And I thought the parts of the novel that dealt with Nicholas were quite unsatisfying.
Also, having visited an ossuary near Prague, I completely understand the compulsion to use one as a setting...but it felt forced to me.
I loved the twining of the three protags' stories...and the subtle-delicate-is-it-or-isn't-it touch of magical realism in Hector's character. All in all, a remarkable read, and thanks again.
A good book recommendation is the best kind of gift!

Ellen Booraem Monday, 29 November 1999

Oh no! I've always wanted to dig a pond out back, where I THINK there's a spring. I was watching your progress with great interest.
You were my canary in the mine. And now you've snuffed it.

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Tweet Tweet! Canary talk, Ellen. Cheerful canary song from here. Don't give up on your pond. Especially not if you have a spring! that's what I had hoped to find---and didn't, alas. The water my dowser found was a deep--20 feet down---water vein: several, in fact; but with not enough flow to fill
my proposed pond.

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