Love from Boy by Donald Sturrock
Roald Dahl's Letters to His Mother

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One striking thing about this enjoyable selection from Dahl’s devoted four-decade correspondence with his mother is quite how free he is with profanities.
-Guardian

Synopsis

From the author of The BFG, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and many more beloved classics—a whimsical, witty, and revealing collection of the legendary children’s author and writer Roald Dahl's letters written to his mother, from early childhood through Dahl’s travels to Africa, his career in the Royal Air Force, his work in post-war Washington, D.C., and Hollywood, and the books that made him a literary star.
 
Roald Dahl penned his first letter to his mother, Sofie Magdalene, when he was just nine years old. The origins of a brilliantly funny, subversive, creative mind were evident in boarding school, and as he entered adulthood, his penchant for storytelling emerged in his missives home from Africa, where he was stationed by Shell Oil, and then the desert camps of the Royal Air Force. His skills were sharpened after a plane crash in Egypt landed him in Washington, D.C., where his cheery letters home were cover for his work in the British Secret Service, along with gossipy updates on his spontaneous rise in Hollywood and his budding New York literary career.
            His mother was, in many ways, Dahl’s first reader, and without her correspondence he might never have become a writer. Sofie Magdalene kept every letter her son wrote to her (sadly, her own side of the correspondence did not survive). It was she who encouraged him to tell stories and nourished his desire to fabricate, exaggerate, and entertain. In these letters, Dahl began practicing his craft, developing the dark sense of humor and fantastical imagination that would later produce his timeless tales. The author of James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and The BFG, Dahl is known by millions the world over today. But, writing candidly to the person who knew him best, Dahl was as singular a character as any he created on paper. Assembled by Dahl’s authorized biographer Donald Sturrock, Love from Boy is a remarkable collection of never-before-published writing that spans four decades and chronicles the remarkable, unpredictable life of its author. While Dahl’s books remain bestselling favorites for all ages, Love from Boy provides an unprecedented glimpse of the author through his own eyes—a life punctuated by tragedy, creative stagnation, unexpected fame, and fantastic adventure.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Donald Sturrock

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Donald Sturrock is a British documentarian and the artistic director of the Roald Dahl Foundation, where he has created orchestral works and operas for children based on Dahl’s stories. In 2010, he wrote Storyteller, the first authorized biography of Dahl.Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide.
Author Residence: London, UK Author Image 1
 
Published September 6, 2016 by Blue Rider Press. 330 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Love from Boy
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by George Shankar on Jul 08 2016

The imagination imbuing his children’s novels with such joy is evident through all of these letters, but it is in Roald’s childhood correspondence that we see charming glimpses of his future subjects...

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Rosen on Jun 12 2016

Anyone looking for revelations, kiss and tell or psychoanalytic exposure will be disappointed. It’s a fascinating view of an extraordinary, mid-20th century, upper-middle-class British boy and man talking to his extraordinary Norwegian mother.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Sam Leith on Jun 11 2016

One striking thing about this enjoyable selection from Dahl’s devoted four-decade correspondence with his mother is quite how free he is with profanities.

Read Full Review of Love from Boy: Roald Dahl's L... | See more reviews from Guardian
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