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Lois Lowry was born in 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Because her father was in the army, Lowry moved around as a child. She lived in several differentcountries, including Japan. She attended Brown University, where she was a writing major, but left college before graduation to get married. Lowry’s marriage did not last, but she had four childrenwho became a major inspiration for her work. She finished her college degree at the University of Maine and worked as a housekeeper to earn a living. She continued to write, however, filled with ideasby the adventures of her children. In addition to working on young adult novels, Lowry also wrote textbooks and worked as a photographer specializing in children’s portraits.

For her first novel, ASummer to Die, Lowry received the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award in 1978. The novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old girl’s complex feelings toward her older sister, whois dying. Lowry has said that she does not like to include directly autobiographical information in her books, but it is possible that some of Lowry’s experience seeped into A Summer to Die, asLowry’s own sister died of cancer.
Since then, Lowry has written more than twenty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia series and Number the Stars, which won the Newbery Medal and theNational Jewish Book Award in 1990. She was inspired to write The Giver—which won the 1994 Newbery medal—after visiting her elderly father in a nursing home. He had lost most of his long-term memory, andit occurred to Lowry that without memory there is no longer any pain. She imagined a society where the past was deliberately forgotten, which would allow the inhabitants to live in a kind of peacefulignorance. The flaws inherent in such a society, she realized, would show the value of individual and community memory: although a loss of memory might mean a loss of pain, it also means a loss...
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