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.
“Dahl’s biographer, Donald Sturrock [has] edited and annotated this collection with great excellence and natural assurance…Dahl’s descriptions of what he is experiencing are extraordinarily vivid and absorbing. He is simply incapable of writing a dull letter.”
—Martin Rubin, The Washington Times

“Innumerable fascinating anecdotes and ideas—enough to fill countless books. Love from Boy provides a wonderful summary of [Dahl’s] extraordinary life and an intimate insight into his development as a writer.”
—The Millions

“A personal perspective on [Dahl’s] eye for detail and the absurd, his predilection for pranks, his knack for characterization…Love from Boy is both an endearing glimpse of a much-loved author and a sober view of mid-20th-century world events.”
—Julia Jenkins, Shelf Awareness

“These never-before-published letters of Roald Dahl…show early glimpses of the imaginative description of Dahl’s prose that so captivates young readers.…This highly recommended collection, documenting the evolution of a witty, dark, and complicated writer, will appeal to Dahl fans as well as readers seeking insight into mid-20th-century history.”
Library Journal

“[Dahl’s] sense of humor, often dark and subversive, that would come to delight the readers of Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Witches, dances through the pages of this wonderful book….a delightfully original form of biography.”
The Evening Standard (UK)
 
“[These] letters are a reminder, if any were needed, that Dahl can’t be pigeonholed in any neat social or literary category.”
The Guardian (UK)

Love From Boy, in all its cunning unreliability, becomes more fascinating the more you think about it. It is a work of showmanship, written for someone to whom the author would always be a child. As the backdrop to one of the world's greatest children's writers, it's so wonderfully complicated you'd have thought even Dahl couldn't have made it up. Except that he did.”
Daily Telegraph (UK)
 
“Sturrock's carefully chosen letters, complemented by a judicious selection of biographical and photographic material, testify to a bond between mother and son that is unbreakable, even in the face of boarding school, war and sexual jokes about Hitler.”
The Times, Book of the Week (UK)
 
“Sturrock is right to claim that the letters to his mother show, in embryo, essential features of Dahl's art, such as his fantastical imagination and his sadistic sense of humour.”
Sunday Times (UK)
 
“[An] entertaining and eye-opening collection . . . it is his younger self that is captured here - jaunty and anarchic, yet a recognisable forerunner of that more subtly anarchic, stooping, cardiganed figure who was the world-famous author, gazing out on the world from his garden shed with watery, mischievous eyes.”
Literary Review (UK)
 
“Sturrock's commentary on the letters is meticulous, thoughtful and kind. 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.”
—Michael Rosen, Observer (UK)