Looking Back: A Book of Memories

Looking Back: A Book of Memories

3.0 1
by Lois Lowry
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

People are constantly asking two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry where she gets her ideas. In this fascinating memoir, Lowry answers this question, through recollections of childhood friends and pictures and memories that explore her rich family history. She recounts the pivotal moments that inspired her writing, describing how they magically turned into fiction

Overview

People are constantly asking two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry where she gets her ideas. In this fascinating memoir, Lowry answers this question, through recollections of childhood friends and pictures and memories that explore her rich family history. She recounts the pivotal moments that inspired her writing, describing how they magically turned into fiction along the complicated passageway called life. Lowry fans, as well as anyone interested in understanding the process of writing fiction, will benefit from this poignant trip through the past and the present of a remarkable writer.

Editorial Reviews

Andrea Higbie
...[L]ife for Lowry, as for most everyone else, is never just one big happily-ever-after; there are bumps, dips, valleys...."Time goes on," she wrote in her very first novel, A Summer To Die, "and your life is still there, and you have to live it." —The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Introducing each section of this memoir with an excerpt from one of her novels, the author "unfolds her history in a glorious arc, invisibly threading its parts into a unified whole. Her connection of the everyday details of her life to the larger scope of her work adds a new dimension to her novels," said PW in a boxed review. All ages. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
As a two-time winner of the Newbery medal, Lowery serves up a book that is quite different from her numerous other books written during the last 20 years. This one offers a personal glimpse into her life. However, it is not a typical biography, rather it is reminiscences that have been triggered by looking at a series of pictures mostly taken during her early years. The experiences, according to Lowery, are what provide the fuel and fodder for the books that she has written. The truth of this is demonstrated through the quotes from her books that precede each picture. Lowery has given each episode an intriguing title and succeeds in tantalizing readers with her recollection of the event-what happened and how she felt. While this book will certainly appeal to Lowery fans, it may also inspire nascent writers.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Lowry's books are loaded with versatility, creativity, emotional tones, and interesting perspectives. These same qualities hold true in this selection. The book is partly inspired by her fans' wondering about what has inspired her books. Writers are asked this question all the time, but Lowry is a pensive listener and this question sent her on a backwards journey reviewing her life's "moments, memories, fragments, falsehoods, and fantasies." Short vignettes are highlighted by photographs which help to explain her life and writings. They also initiate thoughts about parallels between herself and her mother, communicate the sadness and joys she's experienced, generate what-ifs, and capture who she is. Each piece is short, beautifully crafted, and poignant. 1998, Delacorte, Ages 9 to 12, $16.00. Reviewer: Susie Wilde
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This recipient of two Newbery Medals has delighted us with over twenty-five books. Now she shares her life with us in a unique autobiography. It includes many family pictures in which she jumps back and forth in time as her story unfolds. It adds an extra dimension to her books because we know her as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and a writer. The joys and the sadness, the triumphs and the disappointments reach out to us, eager readers. Each chapter begins with a quote from one of her books and serves as a jumping off point for the memories that follow. Creative writing teachers will want their students to see how Lowry's own experiences flesh out her characters and their problems. Her creativity makes each story a work of art.
KLIATT
"Memory," wrote Cicero, "is the treasury and guardian of all things." Lois Lowry shares her memories, accompanied by a treasury of family photos, with humor, pathos, and for one so self-conscious as a child, remarkable candor. Her story begins in 1910 with a photo of her grandmother and her mother, a "four-year-old girl with hair ribbons in her curls," who wants to have two little girls when she grows up. She has Helen in 1934 and Lois in 1937. Lowry is herself a tireless photographer of family, so the reader is treated to baby pictures of several generations, as well as accompanying anecdotes, interspersed with quotes from Lowry's books. Pets and favorite clothes are also featured, though not much about her work as an author. Lowry shares the birth of her children, her divorce, her new romance, and her grandchildren. The major themes of Lowry's novels are apparent in her memoirs—family, courage, love, and loss. Sadly, Lowry lost her son Grey in a plane crash in 1995 when he was 36. The reader shares Lowry's life in points of light from a flashbulb, frozen in the emulsion on a piece of film. The experience is complete and healing, a treasury of life. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998, Random House/Delacorte, 181p, 23cm, $12.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Janet Julian; English Teacher, Grafton H.S., Grafton, MA, May 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 3)
From the Publisher

* "Though more is not always better, it is here, making this volume even better than the original—fuller and wiser in its Giver-like understanding of the role of memory and of literature in our lives... Timeless and wise."
—Kirkus, STARRED review

"Throughout, Lowry’s winning combination of personal anecdotes—from laugh-out-loud incidents to family tragedies—with beautifully selected photographs and apt quotes from the author’s body of work makes this one to be remembered."
—Horn Book Magazine
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-06-22
In an updated edition of her photographic memoir originally published in 1998, Lowry offers reflections on life, work, and literature."Why do you and I have to hold these memories?" Jonas asks in The Giver (1993). "It gives us wisdom," The Giver answers. As Alice Hoffman writes in a new introduction to this edition, "This charming volume," like The Giver, "is also about memory." Like the original, this engaging and accessible collection of memories is a scrapbook of family photographs, the prose serving as captions—short and long—to fill in the stories behind the pictures. "More!" Lowry's children and grandchildren would say when she finished a read-aloud book. "More!" she would say upon closing a favorite. And "More!" is a theme here, too, with new chapters about her children, grandchildren, losses, goodbyes, honors, and surprises. There's even a chapter on the making of the movie version of The Giver. Though more is not always better, it is here, making this volume even better than the original—fuller and wiser in its Giver-like understanding of the role of memory and of literature in our lives. A new cover photograph, smaller trim size, and sharper black-and-white photographs contribute to a handsome volume that ought to find a new generation of readers. Timeless and wise. (Memoir. 10 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385326995
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/28/2000
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
320,634
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
This unusual book contains photographs from Lowry's past and her reflections on them. In the introduction, she suggests that the book will answer readers who ask, "How do you get ideas?" Toward that end, every section begins with a quotation from one of Lowry's books that relates in some way to the subject of the photo. Think of yourself sitting down with Lowry and looking through her albums while she stops and points at pictures of herself as a child and a teenager, photos of her parents and siblings and, then, more recent pictures of her children and grandchildren. Each picture evokes a memory that is a paragraph to a couple of pages long. Readers who remember the deftly portrayed family relationships in Lowry's novels will be fascinated by pictures of Lowry, her older sister, and her younger brother, as well as the often amusing tales of their youth. The mood is not always light, though, and few will be unmoved by Lowry's reflections on her son Grey's death in 1995....Only a writer with Lowry's blend of humor, detachment, and storytelling ability could make the form work.
Booklist, ALA

"Imagine sitting on a sofa with a friend listening with fascination while she tells you about the pictures in her photo album. That is the feeling once has when browsing through this book of Lowry's family snapshots and reading her lively commentary on them. . . . The author's voice comes through strongly as she shares both her happiest and saddest times. . . . Much more intimate and personal than many traditional memories, this work makes readers feel that Lowry is an old friend." School Library Journal

Meet the Author

Lois Lowry is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at www.loislowry.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Looking Back: A Book of Memories 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a book of pictures with a page or two describing it not my favorite:(