A bisexual author wrote the famous children’s book “Goodnight Moon” and her story is pretty timely.
Yes, it’s true. “Goodnight Moon” author Margaret Wise Brown was queer. And Blanche Oelrichs, a writer and playwright who wrote with the pen name Michael Strange, and was also Brown’s on-again-off-again partner, inspired Brown to write the story.
The history of “Goodnight Moon”
Brown’s 1947 children’s classic started as a poem she wrote while recuperating from surgery and her recent breakup with Strange.
Brown was living in Maine in a home she called “The Only House” and started to think how a girl would feel if she had to move from her peaceful home to a bustling city. Those thoughts became the poem “Goodnight Room.”
“Years later, while back in Strange’s arms, the poem returned to her in a dream along with images of her downstairs neighbor’s apartment—its bright green walls, red furniture with yellow trim. The result was ‘Goodnight Moon,’ which initially published to positive press and moderate sales. In 1953, 1,500 copies were sold — today it’s 800,000 copies a year,” The New York Post reports.
The love behind the book
Although Brown and Strange’s relationship was fraught with issues—Strange was moody and Brown was needy. Also: Strange was married.
The relationship came to an end when Strange blamed her cancer diagnosis on her “bad behavior,” aka her romantic relationship with Brown. Strange’s sad, misguided—but totally understandable for the time.
The couple’s Earthly relationship ended in a bittersweet way, too: Strange called for Brown on her death bed. Brown, holding vigil for her sick lover outside Strange’s hospital room, heard Strange call for her as she slipped away.
“Before Strange’s death, Margaret promised that she would memorialize her in writing,” the Post adds.
“In one diary entry—a rare quote in this book that uses far too few of Brown’s words—she wrote of her lover: ‘One who has dared to be gloriously good and gloriously bad in one life. No limbo for her.’”
More than a writer
While we love discovering new information about one of our favorite children’s book authors, we’re also stoked that Brown is now noted as one of the most famous, and talented, bisexual women in history. Take that, patriarchal white authors!