“A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.” – Roald Dahl
A WW II hero for his great skill as a RAF pilot, Dahl simultaneously rose to writing prominence during the war. His first books, written for adults, were about his wartime adventures, but he made his first big splash with his 1943 children’s tale Gremlins.
Born on this date in 1916, Dahl has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century,” earning the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1983, and Children's Author of the Year from the British Book Awards in 1990, the year of his death. The London Times ranks Dahl 16th among "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945."
His works for children are among the world’s most beloved, especially James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Matilda. The “Charlie” book grew out of a childhood fantasy that he might someday work for the famed Cadbury chocolate company in his native Britain.
“When you're writing a book, with people in it as opposed to animals, it is no good having people who are ordinary, because they are not going to interest your readers at all,” Dahl said about his writing style. “Every writer in the world has to use the characters that have something interesting about them.”
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