Our member Mara Beckerman Sneiderman writes:
I love MAUS by Art Spiegleman. I’ve read it 3 times over the past 15
years and each time I do I see, find, and learn something new.
MAUS is a story of the Holocaust. MAUS is the story of Art Spiegleman’s
father ‘s experience in Poland before WW II and in Auschwitz during the
But it is really different than other Holocaust books. For one it is a
GRAPHIC NOVEL. That means it is written like a comic book. A comic book
version of the holocaust!??? I know, I also thought the same thing when I
first heard of it. But if you can believe it Art Spiegelman won a
PULITZER PRIZE for this book.
This is not just a one way story, it is a story that travels back and
forth between the past and the present, because it is also the story of
Spiegelman’s difficult relationship with his aging father. Spiegelman
never had an easy relationship with his father, but as he learns more and
more about his father’s experiences during the Holocaust he starts to
understand his father in a different light.
For us the reader, it is really amazing to learn how his father survived
through the war and the camps. In many ways it was not entirely luck.
His father was incredibly gifted in his skill for knowing how to do a lot
of things that we might consider negative traits in our normal day to day
life, but were exactly the things that enabled him to survive the camps,
and even help others around him.
The pictures are simple black and white drawings and the characters, Ah
Yes, the characters.. They are not people. All the characters in the book
are portrayed as Animals. The Polish Christians are PIGS, the Americans
are Dogs, the German Nazis are CATS, and the Jews are – MICE; hence the
title MAUS; though it is spelled quite differently.
I highly recommend taking the time to read this quick but illuminating
book. You won’t be sorry.