“I wrote it to poke fun at my mother,” he told The Journal via phone from his Connecticut home. “She was convinced chicken soup was the cure-all for everything. “If you had hydrophobia, she’d rub it on your chest. She’d wash your ears out with it. She’d give you an enema with it. Needless to say, I rather disliked chicken soup.”
If the Jewish panacea was a minor annoyance during his childhood, the Holocaust was a major source of pain, Sendak said. It’s the proverbial “monster in the closet” behind the dark motifs that haunt even his cheeriest work.
When fans ask what Max is doing today, Sendak is irreverent as Max himself. “I say he’s still wearing that idiotic wolf suit, so his mother won’t let him out of the house,” the author said. “He’s unmarried and in therapy.”
“I like to be politically incorrect,” Sendak added. “Otherwise, things get boring.”