Recently I received a pdf copy of an article I had written back in 1989 and which will soon be republished in THE WRITER. I had given my permission for that re-publication, of course, but maybe a little casually; there was maybe an "Oh, sure" quality to it. When they sent me the article, which I barely remembered after all these years, I began to read it a little nervously because it occurred to me that I might no longer agree with what my younger self had said.
Fortunately, though, I did, and do.
Here are a couple of paragraphs which contain the essence of what I had to say about the topic, which was "Endings."
Of course everyone who has complained during the past 15 years about the ending of "The Giver"---or, in fact, the two books that follow it---will argue that I did not follow my own dictum. I'll disagree. Such arguments make life interesting for everyone, and especially for teachers.
I am back now from Germany. My Danish friend, Annelise Platt, the inspiration for "Number the Stars," used to say that when you fly across the Atlantic---as she often did in those days---it takes a while for your soul to catch up with your body. A fanciful way of describing jet lag. In any case, my body arrived here Thursday night, and my soul-less body had lunch with a couple of friends yesterday, Friday; and today it is Saturday and I am headed to Maine for the weekend, I think with my soul firmly re-attached.
On the plane, coming and going, I read, on my Kindle, the new Wally Lamb book, "The Hour I FIrst Believed"---it is long and would have been heavy to carry; the Kindle is such an asset for traveling. Many years ago I was at a book event someplace---I think it was the Southern Festival of Books--and was waiting in line at the hotel coffee shop, to get breakfast. When my turn came, the hostess suggested that the man behind me, also alone, and I share a table since the place was crowded. So we did, and it was Wally Lamb; and I think we both enjoyed the brief acquaintance and visit. He's a nice man, and a good writer. I knew that even before Oprah fell in love with him.
Here, taken in Germany, is a picture of my grand-beagle, Luke, a very sweet dog but one with an insatiable appetite. Shortly before I arrived Luke had stolen, and eaten, an entire pound of butter. Believe me, you do not want to hear about the physical aftermath of the butter-snatch.