Maurice Sendak, the plain-spoken and prolific author and illustrator of such children’s classics as In the Night Kitchen and Where the Wild Things Are has died at the age of 83, the New York Times is reporting.
Sendak has been a fixture of childhood for decades, and received acclaim anew when his seminal children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are was adapted as a major motion picture in the 2009. The Times perhaps most aptly describes the author as having “wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche.”
In recent years, and when the book became a film blockbuster, Maurice Sendak made no apologies for his less-coddling view of childhood. When asked about parents that believed the film adaptation of his works was “too scary,” Sendak engaged in the following exchange during an interview:
“Sendak: I would tell them to go to hell. That’s a question I will not tolerate.
Because kids can handle it?
Sendak: If they can’t handle it, go home. Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like. But it’s not a question that can be answered.”
Controversy again ensued when his last book- Bumble-Ardy, about an orphaned pig whose parents became bacon- was considered “scary.” Just recently, Sendak was asked about a sequel to the successful WTWTA, to which he snapped:
“Go to hell … go to hell. I’m not a whore, I don’t do those things.”
Maurice Sendak died at his connecticut home due to complications of a stroke.