Tony Kushner celebrates his friendship with Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) and describes their collaborations on a book based on the opera Brundibar, which was originally performed by children who were killed at Auschwitz. In struggling to create a children’s book that honors the dead, their “discussions have raised the question: in a world of trouble and woe and worse, what are children to be told?”

Kushner also recounts a recent telephone conversation in which Sendak said:

“I have to learn to live life, just enjoy it …. I’m screaming at my enlarged prostate [and here he screams in a really unearthly voice], ‘JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!’ ” Impressed by the sound he’s made, he pauses. “I never heard that voice before.” Then he concludes, “Anyway. That’s what I have to learn. I must learn to unlearn appetite.”

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