A Farewell to Beloved Children’s Author (and Atheist) Maurice Sendak

The great Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, died yesterday at the age of 83.

The Illini Secular Student Alliance reminds us of this excerpt from an interview he did with NPR’s Fresh Air in 2003:

“I am not a religious person, nor do I have any regrets. The war took care of that for me. You know, I was brought up strictly kosher, but I — it made no sense to me. It made no sense to me what was happening. So nothing of it means anything to me. Nothing. Except these few little trivial things that are related to being Jewish. … You know who my gods are, who I believe in fervently? Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson — she’s probably the top — Mozart, Shakespeare, Keats. These are wonderful gods who have gotten me through the narrow straits of life.”

It’s sad to see him go, but what a legacy of stories he left behind.

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