My book club got group tickets to see The Giver on Saturday, being put up by the company Adventure Stage. The play is an adaptation of the Newbery Medal book The Giver by Lois Lowry. And Ms. Lowry was there to sign books and be part of a discussion.
**If you haven’t read the book, you should. Yes, The Giver is a children’s book, but it’s one that, as an adult, I found fascinating and intriguing. Also, if you live in Chicago, you should check out the production. It was well done and beautifully staged.**
I love hearing writers talk about their books, what their inspiration was and how they see the text. Ms. Lowry had an interesting inspiration. One question put forth asked if the political undertones were intentional. Turns out that the book idea came from Ms. Lowry watching her aging father begin to forget his family, causing her to ask which was better: to forget or to remember the difficult times in life. For her, the book was about telling that story; the political implications became apparent after the book was published.
She pointed out that the political undertones, while not intentional, made sense. She went on to discuss her book being taught in other countries and about another book being published in the fall to wrap up the unfinished story of one of the characters.
The show ended later than I had thought, therefore the discussion ran longer than I expected. I had taken a babysitting gig for Saturday night, so I was pretty rushed to get to the gig on time. But I didn’t care. Hearing her talk reminded me of the reasons I love to write, my love of creating worlds and characters. Getting that bit of inspiration was worth the rush.