Literature Love: Roald Dahl and Shirley Jackson Literary Portraits

As you know, I have always loved a dark tale or two. Here are portraits of the two of the best writers of the macabre, Roald Dahl and Shirley Jackson.

First off, the fabulous Roald Dahl (1916 -1990)!

roald dahl portrait cropped

I grew up with the stories of Roald Dahl, waiting all year for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (AKA Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) to come on tv,  I watched as more and more of his children's stories became films, such as "James and the Giant Peach", "Matlida",  "Fantastic Mr. Fox", "The Witches" and "The BFD". His stories were dark and unexpected, he had such a incredible way of looking through innocent eyes of children into strange and sometimes scary worlds.

In college, I discovered his short stories for adults. Dahl's twisted brain came up with the even darker tales. I devoured them. I am always surprised that his more mature work isn't better known. My favorite books are "Switch Bitch" and "Tales of the Unexpected".

I've illustrated Mr. Dahl's portrait against a backdrop of his famously delicious lickable wallpaper from Charlie and Chocolate Factory. I hope you like him.

Roald Dahl Portrait Unframed
Roald Dahl
A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
— Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl Portrait Unexpected Tales

Debra Styer, Fabulous Mr. Dahl, 2017

Available here in my shop!

Now, Ms. Shirley Jackson(1916- 1965)

Shirley Jackson Illustration

My illustrated ode to Gothic novel writer, Shirley Jackson.

Shirley Jackson is best known for her short story "The Lottery" (1948), which reveals a secret, sinister side to an all American town, and for "The Haunting of Hill House" (1959), which is considered to be one of the best ghost stories ever written. And my personal favorite, "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" (1962) a tragic story of a young girl and her family who is isolated from the world and what they do to survive.

I am currently reading, "Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life" by Ruth Franklin. I highly recommend reading this book for which highlights all the struggles Shirley had in her tough, short life.

She is a master storyteller and I hope to get more eyes on her books.

Title: "The Haunting of Shirley"

Shirley Jackson Literary Portrait Cropped
I delight in what I fear.
— Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson Art

Debra Styer, The Haunting of Shirley, 2017

Now available in the shop!