The 10-Book Challenge: Book #9

Maus I, A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

You can find Maus on various lists of must-read journalism. Spiegelman isn’t a journalist — he’s an artist — but he portrays his father’s story of surviving the Nazi holocaust in the style of journalism narrative. And, he also does it in the form of a graphic novel. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

This was one of the original 10 books I had planned to read. It just happened to come right after I read Elie Wiesel’s Night (see Book #8). Once I started reading it, I just couldn’t stop. It’s a very personal work, and Spiegelman doesn’t candy coat his relationship with his father, Vladek. Vladek’s relationship with his second wife, also a survivor, is strained, as well.

Spiegelman jumps back and forth between the past and the present, and it provides the author with an opportunity to both tell his father’s story and also show how those experiences still influence his father.

This is one of the books my Feature Writing class will be reading next spring.

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