Favorite Children’s Book Author Revealed to be Objectively Horrible Person


Written by: Aniela Drumonde

“Who knew that the man who conceived a world where native Oompa-Loompas are taken from their homes to serve a white businessman was actually racist?” exclaimed Empale.
Photo by Sharon Roth

Many students reported anguished sobbing coming from third-year student Tamara Empale’s dorm room after she clicked open the “Controversies” tab on her favorite childhood author’s Wikipedia page. After discovering the news, Empale reportedly did not leave her dorm for three days, missing the deadline to turn in her essay.

When asked to comment, Empale said, “Y’all, I hate to break it to you, but I think Roald Dahl was, like, not a nice guy. I know, right? Like, you wouldn’t expect it at all. I was even thinking about dressing up as an Oompa Loompa for Halloween, but I’m glad I switched to Harry Potter.”

Empale described the scene of her realization: “I was just procrastinating writing an essay on why 1984 by George Orwell is not as interesting as everyone thinks it is, when I found myself looking up if there was a movie adaptation I could watch instead of re-reading the book. That, of course, led me to ancient Roman infantry attack formation tactics, and from that to a page on omens and the history of the black cat. Eventually, I got to a list of fictional witches, where I found the Wikipedia listing of Roald Dahl’s book ‘The Witches,’ and you know where I ended up from there.”

When asked why she had not discovered this earlier, Empale explained, “I don’t really follow the news, and the web filter my parents installed on my phone doesn’t let me download social media. I also prefer to view my childhood with a rosy glow that cannot be tarnished. It’s so weird how bad things only started happening as I got older. The world right now is just chock-full of such heavy topics, and it’s so refreshing to re-read my favorite childhood books. That way, I can just ignore what’s happening in real life! Children’s books that talk about racism and disease don’t really have real-world comparisons, so it’s nice to immerse myself in a world that has new, unique problems that I could imagine myself rising up against if I existed there. Like, obviously I wouldn’t treat dwarves differently just because they came from a different place, with a unique culture, and don’t look exactly like me. Some people just lack basic empathy.”

After her original startling conclusion about Dahl, Empale began researching other children’s book authors and discovered that many more authors could be described as, in her own words, “totally mean people.” Many other students were surprised by this information when Empale wrote a leaflet and shoved them under doors.

However, one student commented, “I knew, but somehow it’s like my mind doesn’t want to remember. I can clearly recall when I learned the truth about my favorite childhood book authors, but I also remember telling a friend about a book by the same author a month after I found out. I completely glossed over the author in favor of describing the actual book. It’s just easier not to acknowledge bad things than it is to actively face them.” However, Empale is not giving up her crusade. In the midst of writing her second leaflet, she stated, “I can’t believe people so reprehensible could write such lovely things! How did they not manage to include anything horrible in their books when they constantly said awful things in real life and wrote their outdated views in journals? Truly, I can’t fathom the kind of mental gymnastics some people do to just completely ignore what’s obviously right in front of them. I guess some people just don’t know their own privilege.”

EIC Elect at The MQ

Former Editor-in-Chief. Like an ouroboros, her jokes consume themselves until no one knows whether they were ever funny. But they are.

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