Lois Lowry, author of such classic children's stories as Number the Stars and The Giver, discussed her works and inspiration with the students of the Literature and Arts A-18: "Fairy Tales, Children's Literature and the Culture of Childhood" yesterday.
Professor of German Maria M. Tatar, who teaches the course, had originally asked Lowry to introduce guest speaker Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are. But Lowry stepped up to fill Sendak's shoes after Sendak injured a tendon and was unable to attend.
The audience sat enraptured throughout the class as Lowry praised Sendak, discussed her works and narrated snapshots of her own life.
Lowry said that although "I cannot possibly measure up to [Sendak's] station...it occurs to me that there is not that much difference between what I did and what Mr. Sendak did."
"What all of us do when we write is send someone on a scary journey," she said.
She said both she and Sendak work to create non-threatening endings to these journeys.
"Things aren't what they seem. You try to tell [things] in such a way that they come to a happy ending," Lowry said.
Lowry added that in both her serious and light works, she tries to create monsters and then present them in an unexpected way.