Remembrance of things past
Posted on July 25, 2013
A little over thirty years ago I edited The Witches by Roald Dahl. This fall Farrar, Straus and Giroux is publishing a 30th-anniversary edition of the book and they asked me to write an afterword about my work with Roald. I was happy to do so for two reasons. First, editing Dahl was a high point of my career; together we worked on eight titles, including The BFG, The Witches, Boy, Going Solo and, although I did not finally publish it, I did edit Matilda. These books will long outlast me and I am proud to have contributed to such a legacy. Second, much has been written about the difficulty of working with Roald, and our relationship has received a lot of attention. These reports get the facts right, but completely ignore the positive side, at least as far as I was concerned. Roald was one of the most charismatic people I’ve ever met. He could be hard to deal with and hard to take, but for most of our long working partnership, it was a great pleasure to work with him. The brief essay I’ve written is an attempt to capture some of the excitement and satisfaction we both experienced while working on The Witches. These are the memories of Roald Dahl that I prize.
The essay has been published in Publishers Weekly.