‘Where The Wild Things Are’ author Maurice Sendak dies at age 83
(Link for 2 Videos at end of article)
Daniel S Levine
The Celebrity Cafe.com
Maurice Sendak, the legendary children’s book author behind Where The Wild Things Are, has died at the age of 83.
The New York Times first reported his death Tuesday. Sendak died Tuesday morning in Danburry, Conn. Longtime editor Michael di Capua confirmed that his death was caused by complications from a recent stroke.
Sendak was born on June 10, 1928 in Brooklyn. He was a frail child who grew up impacted by terrors such as the Holocaust (during which several European relatives died), the Great Depression and the Lindbergh baby kidnapping in 1932. The influence of these events can be felt throughout his work.
His first published illustrations came in a 1947 physics textbook and he worked for a comics publisher part time. In 1948, he started working for F.A.O. Schwarz, building displays for the store. In 1951, he illustrated Marcel Aymé’s The Wonderful Farm, his first work on a children’s book. Kenny’s Window, published in 1956, was the first children’s book he wrote and illustrated.
His breakthrough work came in the 1960s for publisher Harper & Row, starting with Where The Wild Things Are, which became a cultural phenomenon and was recently adapted into a film. His latest work was Bumble-Ardy, which was published by HaperCollins this past September. My Brother’s Book, inspired by his late brother Jack, has been scheduled for release in February.
Throughout his work, Sendak showed a dark, dream-like point of view of childhood, which many considered controversial. Nonetheless, his work is still influential for generations of authors.
Entertainment Weekly notes that Sendak was also known for his blunt opinions and dark humor. He showed that off in an interview with Stephen Colbert, which aired on The Colbert Report in January. Colbert and his audience were almost in disbelief with Sendak’s comments. At one point, he tells Colbert, “I don’t write for children…I like them as few and far between as I do adults.”
Two Video Interview with Maurice Sendak by Stephen Colbert
Videos are at end of article at the above link.