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RIP Maurice Sendak, a genre-breaking author and illustrator. Thank you, most of all for  “where the wild things are”, for writing about children and childhood, not the way adults want children to see it, but for the way childhood often is now- wrought with uncertainty, turbulence, treading carefully in between invisible enemy lines, mines, traps, drawn up and set by warring parents. Thank you for creating a wonderful story about escapism, for me to escape to.

NYT’s obituary had it right when it described Sendak as someone who “wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche”.

Spike Jonze’s movie version of where the wild things are was also great, the soundtrack from Karen O and the kids even better- one of my favourites.

Buzzfeed compiled a bunch of Sendak’s best quotes. Some of the gems include:

“Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do.”

“Fuck them is what I say. I hate those e-books. They cannot be the future. They may well be. I will be dead. I won’t give a shit.”

“I think it is unnatural to think that there is such a thing as a blue-sky, white-clouded happy childhood for anybody. Childhood is a very, very tricky business of surviving it. Because if one thing goes wrong or anything goes wrong, and usually something goes wrong, then you are compromised as a human being. You’re going to trip over that for a good part of your life.”

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Flavorwire constantly puts up some of the most unique lists you can find on the net, from the 25 most beautiful public libraries in the world, to the 10 best break up albums of all time (and no worries, they have good taste so you’re not going to see any Celine Dions- just some winehouse, nick cave, marvin gaye etc). Last week, they had an interesting one on 10 of the most hilarious memoirs you’ll ever read. One that caught my eye was Fiction Ruined My Family– which got a glowing review from Ira Glass, whom I’m geeky fan of ever since listening to his radio programme This American Life (Highly recommended!!):

Fiction Ruined My Family had me laughing out loud, which I almost never do, with one jaw-dropping scene after another. On nearly every page there’ some sentence that’s so perfect, in an old-school Oscar Wilde/Dorothy Parker sort of way, that it made everything I’ve ever written or said seem like dull, drunken mumbling.”

I did a quick google search, and from what i gather Jeanne Darst grew up in a St Louis family of prominent journalists, politicians, Southern society legacy families. Her dad, a wannabe novelist, uproots the family from St Louis to a farm in Long Island. Darst writes “living on a farm, which I would quickly discover had more New Yorker writers on it than cows and chickens.” Her mom, who was one of the pioneers to grace the Sports Illustrated cover in 1956 as an equestrian, became a burgeoning alcoholic. Then it dawns on her, that she is not only a drinker like her mom, but a writer like her dad. Sounds like a template for the crazy-dysfunctional-family type of memoir, but since i’ve been feeling a lot more like an alcoholic ‘writer’ lately, something about Darst’s life appealed to me.

So needless to say, with a glowing review from Ira Glass and a story line that has New York, drinking, and writing thrown into the mix, I’ve already started searching for it, but only hard cover versions are out, so i’ll have to wait till the soft covers hit the shelves.