Video:Roald Dahl Profilewith Anita Silvey
Learn about the life and work of children's author, Roald Dahl, famous for such works as "James and the Giant Peach" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."See Transcript
Transcript:Roald Dahl Profile
I'm Anita Silvey, author of Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book and The Children's Book a Day Almanac online. And, I'm here for About.com.
The Life of Roald Dahl
Let's talk about the work and life of Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl is unique in probably most children's writers. He gave us one of the most honest autobiographies ever written. A book called Boy. And, it was about what he experienced. His father died at age 8. He was sent off to boarding school. And he was really tortured and bullied in the way boarding school life could be at that time. And very clear about it. That that was a major influence on his life.
He's married, of course, to actress Patricia Neal, which is quite interesting. But, they have several children and the first one dies very young. I mean there are just a series of tragedies within his life. It is a life of great turmoil and difficulty.
Early Career of Roald Dahl
He started his career doing macabre stories for adults. Collections called, Kiss kiss, as I remember, in one of them the wife kills her husband and then bakes him in the oven and then serves him up to the police. You know just every grizzly thing that can possibly happen. It was, it's about the farthest that one can imagine from a children's writing career. And, he is a great story teller. He is a great raconteur.
Books by Roald Dahl
He begins to craft a series of books. Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, which would be the first, and then of course Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
He received more vituperation from critics in the United States then any author I know who's still left standing. By the way, they're all gone and his work remains. From the first book on, he was hated by the gate keepers, the reviewers, you know the children's librarians, the people who set the standards, you know um in the United States. The characters get justice that children love. So, he goes under attack after attack after attack. And, of course, in the meantime. He just does what he does best. Which is he really writes for children.
“But, if you don't eat people, like all the others, Sophie said. Then what do you live on? Well, that's a squelchy tricky problem around here the BFG answered. In this slosh funking giant country, happy eats like pineapples and pig winkles is simply not growing. Nothing is growing. Except one icky poo vegetable. It's called the snoz gumper. "The snoz gumper!" cried Sophie. "There is no such thing." The BFG looked at Sophie and smiled, showing about 20 of his square white teeth. "Yesterday," he said, "we was not believing in giants, was we. Today, we is not believing in Snoz Gumpers."
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