Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross: The Maurice Sendak Interview
by Erin Madsen
I wasn’t able to finish the piece I wanted for today. Lucky for you, I’m posting a link to an interview that’s far better – in almost every possible way – than what I can write for you. This interview of Maurice Sendak by Terry Gross was voted Fresh Air’s best interview of 2012, and it’s not hard to understand why.
I understand that Terry Gross excels as an interviewer as much by what she doesn’t say as what she does. However, in this interview, she’s even slower to interrupt than usual, and the results are breathtaking. Several times, Maurice Sendak seems almost ready to retire from the interview completely. Vivid memories of his life and relationships with people seem to burst forth between his words. His speech slows, as though it were all too much, then continues with a line that so perfectly sums up the whole of his being in that moment, that you realize he is the sort of man who respects life too much to talk about it with only half a mind.
It’s one of the best interviews I’ve ever heard, and you can listen to it now at http://www.npr.org/2011/09/20/140435330/this-pig-wants-to-party-maurice-sendaks-latest