Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter. He is known worldwide for his best selling works both for children and adults. He rose to fame in the 1940s and has since been called “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century.”
For his works he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1983 and the Children’s Author of the Year Award from the British Book Awards in 1990. He was also listed among the “50 greatest British writers since 1945″ by The Times in 2008.
Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1916. His parents were Norwegian. They had emigrated from Sarpsborg during the 1880s and settled down in Cardiff. The author was named after the famous polar explorer, Roald Amundsen. Although his father died when he was still a child, his mother preferred to remain in Wales, instead of returning to her family in Norway. She wished to educate her children at British schools.
After finishing his schooling, he joined the Shell Petroleum Company in 1934. He was transfered first to Kenya, then to Tanzania where he encountered black mambas and lions. Five years later, with World War II looming, he was made a lieutenant in the King’s African Rifles. Later, in November, he joined the Royal Air Force. He was invalidated and sent back to Britain in 1941.
His first published work was “A Piece Of Cake” which was released on 1 August 1942. One year later he published his first children’s novel, “The Gremlins.” The First Lady of the US Eleanor Roosevelt read the story to her grandchildren after receiving it as a gift from the author. In the wake of “The Gremlins” followed some of the most famous children’s novels of the 20th century: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and The Witches.
Roald Dahl was also successful with his macabre adult short stories. His dark humor and surprising endings brought him three Edgar Awards. The authors died on 23 November 1990, at the age of 74. He was buried in Buckinghamshire, receiving an almost Viking funeral from his family. Have you read any of his books?
Source: roalddahl.com; Images: wikipedia
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