Maurice Sendak, a writer and illustrator known for the classic of children’s literature Where the Wild Things Are, made a point of refusing to inject innocence into his stories. His fantastical creatures resembled his memories of his immigrant extended family, whose features struck him as monstrous; however, he attributes his grim outlook to the deaths of his father’s family in the Holocaust. Among his more cheerful influences he names a visit to the 1939 World’s Fair a source used for In the Night Kitchen, a popular children’s book that remains controversial for the protagonist’s dream in which he appears as nude. In the later part of his life Sendak also received recognition for his work on theatrical sets.
Sendak, a gay man, never came out to his parents during their lifetimes, though he did introduce them to his partner of fifty years: Eugene Glynn, a psychoanalyst.