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Maurice Sendak, RIP

Noted children’s book author has died at age 83.

NPR’s Terry Gross did an interview with Sendak last fall that was so illuminating – I had never read anything about his personal life, or seen or heard him interviewed.  He was gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but he wasn’t “out” until recently, and it just brings home again how times have changed for the better – back in the 1960’s, children’s book publishers would not have published a book for children by an openly gay author.  He was an atheist, which might be enough to keep children’s book publishers from publishing him today, if he had not already been well-established before the current craziness took root.  He never had children of his own.  The interview is really touching – Sendak is very emotional in his musings about both his earlier and recent life, and the approaching end of his life.

Much more upbeat was this interview with Stephen Colbert (and since I can’t embed the videos because FYWP, try these):


If both parts aren’t available there – availability has been spotty today, even on the Colbert site – try the direct links below:



I loved this second interview, because among other things, Sendak confesses to a general dislike of people and reveals a very dark and cynical sense of humor, which means that perhaps there is some hope for me after all.  But really, go watch both segments – they are well worth the time.  Would that we could all be Maurice Sendak, enormously talented and as openly comfortable and unapologetic about being ourselves as he was.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Big Bad Bald Bastard
    May 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    He was a one of a kind talent, and you are right about him probably never being published if he had been “out”. Maybe Pres. Obama read “Where the Wild Things Are” again before coming out in favor of gay marriage.

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