Roald Dahl: A Biography

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The first full-length biography of the successful and controversial author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Introduction by the Author; Index; photographs.

Misogynist, anti-Semite, misanthrope--Roald Dahl was reputed to be these as well as war hero, devoted father, and philanthropist. To millions however, he was the Evelyn Waugh of children's books, author of such beloved classics as Charlie and ...

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Overview

The first full-length biography of the successful and controversial author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Introduction by the Author; Index; photographs.

Misogynist, anti-Semite, misanthrope--Roald Dahl was reputed to be these as well as war hero, devoted father, and philanthropist. To millions however, he was the Evelyn Waugh of children's books, author of such beloved classics as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Here Treglown crafts a "scrupulously fair-minded portrait" (New York Times Book Review) of a complex man. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This revealing biography strips away the genial persona of popular children's book author Roald Dahl (1916-1990) to explore the personal demons that drove him. Born to Norwegian parents in Wales, Dahl, whose father and older sister both died when he was four, was a divided personality. An RAF fighter pilot, war hero, art collector, philanthropist and doting father, he was also, by his account, a wartime British spy who snooped on Americans in Washington, D.C., a bully, an anti-Semite, a vain, cantankerous alcoholic given to cruelty and outbursts. Dahl, who settled in New York City in the early 1950s, wrote Hollywood screenplays and stories for adults laced with black humor. His hectic marriage to actress Patricia Neal, according to Treglown, was marred by his envy of her success, too much liquor on both sides, and a series of misfortunes including her debilitating stroke, an infant son's skull fractures in a car accident, the death of one daughter at age 7 and the drug addiction of two teenage daughters. Treglown, former editor of the Times Literary Supplement , convincingly separates the man from the myth in a scrupulously researched portrait. Photos. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Treglown, a former editor of The Times Literary Supplement , has written an honest yet deferential biography of one of the most important children's authors ever ( Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ; James and the Giant Peach ) . Born in England to Norwegian parents, Dahl (1916-90) was a difficult and opinionated man whose life was riddled with tragedy, including the early deaths of his father and one of his daughters and the strokes of Patricia Neal, his wife of nearly 30 years. Although Dahl achieved success through his novels, stories, and screenplays, he found his niche in writing for children. His tales were sometimes criticized as too gruesome, yet they remain hugely popular with children because they unflinchingly confront childhood demons and fears. Treglown draws extensively from interviews with Dahl's family and a wealth of correspondence. This excellent portrait of one of modern literature's most creative minds is highly recommended.-- Diane Gardner Premo, SILS, SUNY-Buffalo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156001991
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/5/1995
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.88 (d)

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