Maurice Sendak, the author of Where
the Wild Things Are, has died at the age of 83, The
Los Angeles Times reported.
Sendak's friend and caretaker Lynn
Caponera told the paper that he suffered a stroke on Friday and died
Tuesday at a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut.
Where the Wild Thing Are became
one of the 10 bestselling children's books of all time. Time
magazine declared Sendak “the Picasso of children's books.”
Wild Things, which was adapted
into a motion picture in 2009, centers on Max, a lonely 8-year-old
boy who imagines escaping to an island inhabited by creatures known
as the Wild Things. Max is crowned their king before he chooses to
First published in 1963, when Sendak
was in his 30s, Wild Things was a radical departure for the
genre and created a stir. Librarians, psychologists and many adults
came out against the book, saying it was too dark.
Sendak, who also illustrated or
authored roughly 100 books, had won almost every important prize in
children's literature. He also designed sets for about 10 operas.
Sendak was openly gay, sharing his life
for 50 years with Dr. Eugene Glynn, who passed in 2007.
He told The New York Times in
2008 that he had never told his parents about his sexual orientation.
“[A]ll I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy.
They never, never, never knew," he said.