“On a bleak midwinter’s night / The newest star! — blazing light! / So crystal bright! — eclipsing the moon, / Scorching the sky, / Smashed! — and heaved the iron earth in two.”
So begins Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak’s forthcoming My Brother’s Book, an elegiac tale inspired by his brother and fellow author Jack’s death in 1995 (Sendak illustrated two of his elder brother’s books and credited him with inspiring his own writing career). The book is scheduled to be published posthumously on Feb. 5 this year. Sendak passed away on May 8, 2012 after suffering a stroke, aged 83.
Vanity Fair has an exclusive first look at the book, both written and illustrated by the beloved children’s author, whose last book, Bumble-Ardy, was published in 2011. Sendak aficionados should find the imagery especially fascinating: clearly Sendak’s hand, but with echoes of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience.