Feature

Author of the week: Maurice Sendak

Sendak's forthcoming work, Bumble Ardy, is about a pig who throws himself a birthday party because his parents never did.

Maurice Sendak is sensing the end, said Amy S. Rosenberg in The Philadelphia Inquirer. At 82, the beloved creator of Where the Wild Things Are and dozens of other children’s books feels his time running out. “I’m old,” he says. Sendak has always been a little anxious and a little dark—qualities reflected in his work. “When I kick the bucket, which can’t be too long from now, I think I’m getting out just in time,” he says. “Watching the news, everything seems to be in disorder. I wonder why people still have children.” He stops himself. “This is how old people rationalize their death. You get a little crotchety with the world.”

When not busy being a curmudgeon, Sendak has been at the drawing table, said Katherine Rosman in The Wall Street Journal. Bumble-Ardy, due out this fall, is the first work in 30 years that he’s both written and illustrated. The story, about a pig who throws himself a birthday party because his parents never did, is based on a story Sendak did for a Sesame Street segment. “Both his parents die on the first page,” says Sendak of the new work. “Don’t ask me what I was thinking.” Things get lighter when Bumble invites his pig friends for a costume party: Sendak writes, “And just in time he asked some grubby swine to come for birthday cake and brine at ten past nine.” Originally, Bumble’s guests drank wine, until the author reconsidered. “I didn’t think I could get away with wine in this day and age.”

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