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LOOKING BACK by Lois Lowry


A Book of Memories

by Lois Lowry

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-395-89543-X
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

A unique format for a memoir—Lowry (Stay!, 1997, etc.) offers up quotes from her books, dates, black-and-white photographs, and recollections of each shot, as well as the other memories surrounding it. The technique is charming and often absorbing; readers meet Lowry's grandparents, parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren in a manner that suggests thumbing through a photo album with her. The tone is friendly, intimate, and melancholy, because living comes with sorrow: her sister died of cancer at age 28, and Lowry's son, a pilot, died when his plane crashed. Her overall message is taken from the last words that son, Grey, radioed: "You're on your own." The format of this volume is accessible and it reflects the way events are remembered—one idea leading to another, one memory jostling another; unlike conventional autobiographies, however, it will leave readers with unanswered questions: Who was her first husband—and father of her children? Why are her surviving children hardly mentioned? Why does it end—but for one entry—in 1995? It's still an original presentation, one to be appreciated on its own merits.