Daniel Butenschøn

Posts Tagged ‘The Telegraph’

Roald Dahl’s darkest hour

In feature on august 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Selv ikke Roald Dahl selv kunne drømt opp de fryktelige hendelsene som skaket familien hans på sekstitallet, i det karrieren hans var i ferd med å ta av. I dette utdraget i The Telegraph fra en intim ny biografi, viser vennen Donald Sturrock hvordan forfatterens liv var skapt av katastrofe – og hvorfor kona hans kalte ham «Roald the Rotten».



Soon, this instinct that New York was no place to raise a young family would seem cruelly prophetic. On December 5 1960, just a few months after “Pig” was published, Susan Denson the Dahls’ nanny was bringing Tessa home from nursery school for lunch. She was also pushing four-month-old Theo in his pram and trying to manage a dog at the same time. It was her third winter in New York with the Dahls, and she fitted so well into their family that they had made her one of Theo’s godparents.

The weather was bitterly cold. They were walking down Madison Avenue and when they reached 85th Street, waited at the crossing for the light to change. When it did, Susan pushed Theo’s pram off the sidewalk and out into the road. At that point a cab careened around the corner and crashed into it. The driver panicked. Instead of braking, he stepped on the accelerator, ripping the pram out of the nanny’s hands and propelling it 40ft through the air, before it smashed into the side of a parked bus. Theo’s head took the full force of the impact and his skull shattered.