Tuesday, March 7, 2023
From the Rolling Stone:
EAGLE-EYED READERS OF Roald Dahl might notice some small-but-significant changes within an upcoming republishing of the legendary author’s children’s books as some language has been changed to make it less offensive and more inclusive.
Dahl’s own literary estate approved of the edits, which include changing the description of Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from “fat” to “enormous,” and replacing the word “female” throughout Matilda with “woman,” the Guardian reports.
A spokesperson for the Roald Dahl Story Company said of the changes in a statement, “When publishing new print runs of books written years ago, it’s not unusual to review the language used alongside updating other details including a book’s cover and page layout. Our guiding principle throughout has been to maintain the storylines, characters, and the irreverence and sharp-edged spirit of the original text. Any changes made have been small and carefully considered.”
According to the Guardian, publishers Puffin hired sensitivity readers — “a collective for people who are passionate about inclusion and accessibility in children’s literature,” Puffin said — to comb through Dahl’s children’s books (but not his adult works), with those readers finding over 100 edits, ranging from tweaking or removing a word or two to rewriting entire couplets.
Read more here.