Maurice Sendak, the author and illustrator of 'Where The Wild Things Are' and many other beloved children's books, has passed away at the age of 83. The cause was complications following a stroke.
Over the course of his long career, Sendak wrote and illustrated over 100 stories for kids. His work stood out from other children's literature for a number of reasons: he never shied away from darker subject matter, his illustrations were both beautiful and dark, and his main characters were often headstrong and sometimes even obnoxious - a reflection of Mr. Sendak's realism about both childhood and life.
While this tendency to take on unexpected subjects in an unconventional way sometimes led to controversy - his 1970 book 'In The Night Kitchen' was attacked by some for its depictions of nudity and potentially sexual subject matter - Mr. Sendak is popular with everyone from kids to academics to art critics: he's been the subject of critical studies and exhibitions, and he branched out into theatrical set design.
Mr. Sendak spoke to the New York Times in 2008 about the death of his partner of 50 years, Eugene Glynn, never coming out to his parents, and the challenges of growing older. You can read that interview right here.
He also sat down recently for a chat with the Tate Gallery about his writing and illustrating process, his thoughts on William Blake, and the possibility of 'Where the Wild Things Are II' (hint: that would never happen):
And for more interviews and discussion of Mr. Sendak's life and works, check out this post at CBC Books.