Skip to main content

My wife wants to tell you about something that happened many years ago, showing how nice Maurice Sendak was.  She just got her account here, after many years of lurking, in order to do so-- she's crowegg, for future reference-- and now feels frustrated by the one-week new-user posting delay. So, I hereby host two letters, below.

Her letter to him went something like this:

Dear Maurice Sendak

I was at the Library of Congress last night listening as the zombie librarian in a fright wig interviewed you. I don’t know what you felt but here’s my audience perspective.

Never during the time you were both on stage did she look at you or change her expression. Never. Not once. She read her questions from cards, and stared over the heads of the audience totally blank-eyed.You on the other hand were wonderful. Your answers were straightforward interesting, humorous. You totally charmed the audience. The librarian, however, seemed only to be waiting for your voice to stop, and when she noticed a prescribed amount of silence she turned to another card. Sometimes those cards contained questions you had already answered. One could almost hear the eyes roll in the audience. But not yours. “I believe I’ve already touched on that. But perhaps I could elaborate,” you said, easily, and brought in another anecdote to keep the librarian’s guise of normality intact.

I'm sending you some lemon bread as a reward for carrying off the evening so well. If being from New York has caused you to distrust goodies sent through the mail by strangers, please feed a bit to a mouse and I promise he’ll not drop dead at your feet but come back for more.

All best to you.


Here's his letter back. Check out the picture of Jenny and the mop, from life and from Higglety Pigglety Pop. Transcript below.


Dec 9, 1970
Dear (crowegg)

Hurray for you! Your letter cheered me immensely— and the bread (I’d call it cake) was terrific— took me two days of straight devouring— and better than a librarian even it was— definitely!  Gad I’m amazed the “zombie” was so obvious— I thought only I had the benefit of that ghastly grimace— never thought I’d get through it. There’s a history behind that look of death— let me tell you! Anyway, it was worth it— the audience was spendid and your superb bread/cake truly makes it all worth while. You’re very kind and I thank you with all my heart and belly.


Maurice Sendak

Originally posted to timj on Tue May 08, 2012 at 12:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site