The late children's author Maurice Sendak has left us one more gift: in fall 2018, Michael di Capua Books and HarperCollins will release Presto and Zesto in Limboland.
According to Publisher's Weekly, Lynn Caponera, president of the Maurice Sendak Foundation, found the typewritten manuscript while sorting through Sendak's papers (the writer died in 2012). The book was created in collaboration with co-author Arthur Yorinks, Sendak's partner on two previous books: The Miami Giant and Mommy?
According to Yorkinks, the work for Presto and Zesto began as illustrations for a London Symphony Orchestra performance of a Czech opera and evolved into "an homage to our own friendship so we named the characters after ourselves — Presto and Zesto."
Publication of the work of deceased — or compromised — writers and other artists has recently come under public scrutiny. Take, for instance, the release of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman seven months before the author's death, when she was reportedly in ill health. Edward Albee's estate, meanwhile, continues to make decisions about the race of the actors portraying his characters, a year after the playwright died.
According to PW, though, the circumstances behind the decision to publish are benign — as was Sendak's decision not to publish the book during his lifetime: "In all honesty," Yorinks told the magazine, "we just forgot it."