Roald Dahl Biography
|Roald Dahl (September 13, 1916 - November 23, 1990) was a British novelist and short story author, famous both as a writer of children's fiction as well as adult and horror fiction. Among his most popular books are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Kiss Kiss.
Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Glamorgan in 1916 to Norwegian parents. He was educated at Repton School. After finishing his schooling, he joined the Shell Oil Company, and was transferred to South Africa. In World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force. Although severely wounded in Libya, he later saw service in Greece and Syria. He ended the war as a Wing Commander.
He began writing when in 1942 he was transferred to Washington as Assistant Air Attache. His first published short story was A Piece of Cake, describing his accident in Libya (when his aircraft crashed over no-man's-land).
He was married to Hollywood actress Patricia Neal (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Hud) from 1953 to 1983. They had five children.
He died at home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire and is buried in the St Peter and St Paul Cemetery there. In his honour, the Roald Dahl Children's Museum was opened in nearby Aylesbury.
Dahl came to write children's stories such as Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach; he also wrote macabre adult fiction, usually with a dark sense of humor and a surprise ending. One of his more famous adult stories, The Smoker, was filmed as an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. For a brief period in the 1960s he wrote screenplays to make money. Both of his screenplays—You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang—were adaptations of novels by Ian Fleming.
Many of his children's books have illustrations by Quentin Blake.
Books for children
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (a sequel to the above)
James and the Giant Peach (animated film, 2001)
Fantastic Mr Fox
The Witches (made into a film starring Anjelica Huston, 1990)
Matilda (live-action film, 1996)
The Magic Finger
The Wonderful story of Henry Sugar
Danny the Champion of the World (live-action film, starring Jeremy Irons, 1989)
Boy (An autobiography until his college days, looking particularly at schooling in Britain in the early part of the 20th century)
Going Solo (Continuation of his autobiography, in which he goes to work for Shell and spends some time working in South Africa before joining the War effort and becoming one of the last Allied pilots to withdraw from Greece during the German invasion.)
George's Marvelous Medicine
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
Adult Fiction/Short Stories
"A Piece of Cake"
"The Constable's Coat" or "Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat"
"A Dip In The Pool"
"Lamb to the Slaughter"
Many of his short stories are supposed to be extracts from the diary of his (fictional) Uncle Oswald, a rich gentleman whose sexual exploits form the subject of these stories.
Short Story Collections
Over to You
Someone Like You
Twenty-Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl
Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life
Tales of the Unexpected
More Tales of the Unexpected
My Uncle Oswald
The Best of Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories
The Collected Short Stories of Dahl
|Roald Dahl Resources