Eight Facts About Roald Dahl

Last week, I finally finished Donald Sturrock’s Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl.  I highly recommend it.  In addition to being well-written and carefully researched, it’s a heck of a story.  In it, you’ll encounter such facts as these: During World War II, Dahl was a spy.  (This has previously been documented in Jennet

On a First-Name Basis with People I’ve Never Met: A Personal Introduction to Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss

Yesterday, I sent off (what I hope is) the final revision of the manuscript for my biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss.  After I did, I began reading Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl (2010), which Donald Sturrock (the author) begins by describing his own relationship with his subject.  It helped me understand

Crockett Johnson & Ruth Krauss: biography outtakes, Part 4

For those who care about such minutiae, here are some outtakes from Chapter 14, “At Home with Ruth and Dave” – from which I’ve just cut 540 words.  The chapter, which covers Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss in 1947 and 1948, draws heavily on Ruth’s 123-page account of their daily lives in late winter 1948:

Crockett Johnson & Ruth Krauss: biography outtakes, Part 3

Working in a little biography-editing while at the American Studies Association conference in San Antonio.  (Why, yes, I would like some more workahol.  Thank you for offering!)  I’ve just condensed three paragraphs on Crockett Johnson‘s visit to Commonwealth College (radical labor school in Mena, Arkansas, 1922-1940) down to a single paragraph.  For the record, that

Crockett Johnson & Ruth Krauss: biography outtakes, Part 1

Will publishing the “outtakes” from my forthcoming The Purple Crayon and a Hole to Dig: The Lives of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss (UP Mississippi, 2012) help to promote the book or dissuade people from picking it up?  After all, these are the bits cut from the book, not the parts that remain.  Well, since

Crockett Johnson Laughs

Crockett Johnson was not a teller of jokes.  His sense of humor was wry, subtle, sardonic.  He’d quietly offer a well-turned phrase or make an off-hand observation that perfectly addressed the moment.  However, in contrast to his gentle delivery, he “had this sort of earthy laugh,”1 a “marvelous laugh.”2 Courtesy of Nina Stagakis, here is

Johnson and Krauss, Together for the First Time!

Though they had lived together since 1940 and married in 1943, this 1944 photograph is the first one to include both Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss.  Taken by Frank Gerratana, it appeared in the Sunday Herald (Bridgeport, Conn.) of October 1, 1944.  In my biography of Johnson and Krauss, I’m using a print of the