What inspired you to write The Giver in the first place?
Lois Lowry: Well as it happened, my father was very old at that time and in a nursing home. I would go to visit him about every six weeks in another state, and on this particular visit I realized for the first time that he was beginning to lose pieces of his memory. He didn’t have Alzheimer’s, but he was getting up there — around 90 years old — and he had forgotten my sister and that startled me. My sister, his first child, had died young, but he had obliterated somehow that memory and I began thinking on my way home, Heck, maybe it’s a good thing you forget something when it’s painful, but of course when you start thinking along those lines you realize that it’s not a good thing. The product, what we’re made of, is our whole path — good and bad. And so I began to think about the possibility of writing about people who had found a way to manipulate human memory. That was the start of The Giver, and I’ve never been a writer of science fiction or even a reader of it, but all of a sudden I realized I was going to have to write a book set in the future and that’s what it turned out to be. That was the start of it.