Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Biography of Roald Dahl

'Storyteller,' Donald Sturrock's authorized biography of Roald Dahl
By Michael Dirda
Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl
By Donald Sturrock
Simon & Schuster. 655 pp. $30

When 74-year-old Roald Dahl died from leukemia in 1990, I wrote a longish essay about the enormously popular, and often controversial, author of "James and the Giant Peach" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Waspishly opinionated, frequently offensive, a hard bargainer with publishers and a prima donna with editors, reclusive, family-focused and outrageously funny, Dahl struck me then as the Evelyn Waugh of children's literature. One could almost imagine the savage author of "Black Mischief" and "A Handful of Dust" writing "The Twits" or "Matilda." . . .

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