“Goodnight comb and goodnight brush…And goodnight to the old lady whispering hush…Goodnight moon..”
Telling the “story” of a darkening room at bedtime, Goodnight Moon (1947) has gone from near obscurity to selling close to a million copies a year. But if you thought – as Jacke did – that the author of this odd, quiet book was probably something of a quiet old lady whispering hush herself, you couldn’t be more wrong. Margaret Wise Brown was radical young woman who blew her money on furs and trips to Europe, had long-term relationships with both men and women, and spent her weekends hunting rabbits. In this episode, Anna Holmes, who wrote about Margaret Wise Brown for the New Yorker, joins Jacke to discuss the surprising story behind a beloved children’s classic.
Additional listening ideas:
- Like children’s literature? You might enjoy our episodes on Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl.
- Learn more about Margaret Wise Brown’s literary influences in our episodes on Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf and Her Enemies.
- In the mood for something different? We explored Gabriel García Márquez with author Patricia Engel.
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