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Y’all getting this Roald Dahl thing completely wrong

The world might not need another hot take on this, but here goes anyway.

A black and white image of British author Roald Dahl, showing him wearing a suit and sitting in front a background of painted swirls.
Roald Dahl in 1954. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62–54231]

The pants of the book world are on fire yet again. This time because the publishers of British author Roald Dahl’s books are removing words that some readers might deem offensive.

I have mixed feelings about going back and making changes to a piece of published work unless it’s factually inaccurate and I include my own work in that. I also don’t want any of my fiction books changed. Ever. And that includes me making the changes. I’ll get into that in a moment, but in the meantime, let’s look at what the Dahl estate and Puffin have actually done.

According to NPR, in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Augustus Gloop has gone from “fat” to “enormous.” I say this as a fat woman: I would much rather be fat than enormous, but whatever. The Oompa-Loompas are now “small people” instead of “small men.” Was that change about gender or to indicate to the reader that the Oompa-Loompas aren’t living with the medical condition of dwarfism? (Side note: aren’t the Oompa-Loompas enslaved or should we not talk about that right now?)

Read the full story on my Medium page.

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