November 2023


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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Banning of Books



By Michael Cavna

Art Spiegelman sees the new ban of his book ‘Maus’ as a ‘red alert’


Click on image for Wikipedia article on this book

Art Spiegelman didn’t set out to write an educational aid for young-adult readers. A half-century ago, he simply wanted to better know his own origin story, discover more about his parents’ histories — and hear from his father, a Polish Jew and a survivor, how some of their relatives were killed in the Holocaust.


In an interview Thursday, he remembers his mind-set in his 20s: “I never meant to teach anybody anything.”

Now, though, given the latest roiling debates over which books can be banned from schools and libraries, the author of the seminal graphic memoir “Maus” appreciates his work’s long cultural tail: “I’m grateful the book has a second life as an anti-fascist tool.”


Spiegelman is speaking shortly after learning that a Tennessee school board voted unanimously this month to ban “Maus,” which in 1992 became the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize. The two-volume comic biography chronicles his family’s Holocaust history through a frame-tale of ‘70s conversations between Spiegelman and his estranged father, all told with anthropomorphic imagery: The Jewish characters are rendered as mice, for instance, and the Nazis are cats. (Read more)

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