Talking About Maurice Sendak’s Last Book
Published posthumously, ‘My Brother’s Book’ is a tribute to Sendak’s brother
NPR has put together an interview with Tony Kushner, a close friend of the late Maurice Sendak, to talk about Sendak’s last book. It’s called “My Brother’s Book” and it has just come out, less than a year after Sendak passed away.
My Brother’s Book was written as a tribute to Sendak’s older brother, Jack, who died 18 years ago. Published posthumously, it pairs a meditative poem with a dreamscape of watercolors; in it, two brothers in a fantastic world confront separation, longing and reunion.
While the book looks backward toward Jack’s death, it was written so close to the end of Sendak’s own life that, for those who knew him, it has taken on a double meaning. The playwright Tony Kushner, who was a close friend of Sendak’s, says, “I really feel that the book is a goodbye from him to everybody who loved him — which was a lot of people.”
It’s worth a listen, especially if you’re looking out into a snowy winter day and contemplating the temporality of human life. Or if you like kids’ book.