The 10 Grumpiest Living Writers

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak, author of highbrow kids’ book standbys Where the Wild Things Are, Outside, Over There, and The Nutshell Library, among others, may just be the most charmingly cantankerous author living today. Like Franzen, he’s not into ebooks, explaining, “I hate them. It’s like making believe there’s another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of book! A book is a book is a book.” Better still is his stance on children, which he outlined in an interview on the Colbert Report: “I didn’t set out to make children happy, or make life better for them, or easier for them… I like them as few and far between as I do adults. Maybe a bit more more because I really don’t like adults, at all, practically.” But we can’t effectively explain the brilliant grumpiness of Sendak here — do yourself a favor and watch the full interview with Colbert (in which he also calls Newt Gingrich “an idiot of great renown”) here.