Acclaimed children’s author Maurice Sendak died yesterday at the age of 83. I love his books, both the words and the pictures, and their exploration of “the darker side of childhood,” as NPR puts it. Darker, yes, but never bleak or hopeless.
I cannot do justice to his legacy; perhaps no one who did not know him personally can. NPR’s Fresh Air, however, has an excellent piece about his life, along with links to several interviews he did with the superlative Terry Gross. I found the latest interview, “This Pig Wants to Party,” particularly touching. In it, Sendak explains that his partner of 50 years, Eugene Glynn, was ill and dying while Sendak wrote his last book, Bumble-Ardy. Sendak wrote it, he said, in order to help himself live after Eugene’s death.
All Things Considered’s Lauren Silverman looks more closely at his work in “Sendak’s Legacy: Helping Kids ‘Survive Childhood.’”
I hope the Wild Things are having a rumpus in his honor.