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Other titles in the Maus series:
Maus, A Survivor's Tale, Book I: My Father Bleeds Historyby Art Spiegelman
Two powerful, definitive chronicles of modern atrocities — the perfect books for anyone who doubts comix have grown up. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus is a staggering personal depiction of the Holocaust, rendered all the stronger by Spiegelman's refusal to lionize the victims (Spiegelman's parents are presented as complex individuals — warts and all — instead of saintly martyrs) and his determination to keep his metaphor (Jews as mice, Germans as cats) from slipping into allegory.
Safe Area Gorazde suggests we didn't learn much from the Holocaust except how to avert our gaze when genocide is being enacted practically under our noses. Sacco's account of the war in Sarajevo is human and heartbreaking. His vividly rendered images put us right there in Gorazde, with an immediacy neither film nor prose can replicate. Nothing can truly atone for the world's complacency in the midst of the Sarajevo massacre, but Sacco's remarkable graphic novel goes a long way toward helping us understand the brutalities that our newspapers glossed over. Recommended by Bolton
The twofold brilliance of Art Spiegelman's groundbreaking, autobiographical Maus is the graphic novel's lack of sentimentality and Spiegelman's self-portrait as a secondhand Holocaust survivor. The Holocaust is a widely used trope in Jewish American writing and although Spiegelman treats the subject with the compassion and historical sensitivity it merits, Maus avoids the themes of victimization and historical exceptionalism that render much Holocaust literature precious and insulated from the present. Instead, Spiegelman gives his characters the dignity of fully fleshed, complicated personalities and shows — in sometimes painful and unappealing ways — how his parents' Holocaust seeped into his childhood and haunts his being.
Synopses & Reviews
A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.
"Spiegelman's work [is] uniquely moving and...delightful....Spiegelman is no sentimentalist. The mouse-Jews betray each other to the cat-Nazis, and his father, a difficult man, is hardly idealized....But it's not just this unblinking realism that makes Maus so disconcerting: it's the choice of so stylized a medium....The very artificiality of its surface makes it possible to imagine the reality beneath." David Gates, Newsweek
"[S]oon one is marveling at the amount of fear, hope, love and pathos that can emerge from a sketch of a mouse's head scarcely a half-inch high....[Spiegelman] promises us a sequel and I, for one, can't wait. I hope he is scurrying. The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust." Robert Grossman, The Nation
"Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep. When two of the mice speak of love, you are moved, when they suffer, you weep. Slowly through this little tale comprised of suffering, humor and life's daily trials, you are captivated by the language of an old Eastern European family, and drawn into the gentle and mesmerizing rhythm, and when you finish Maus, you are unhappy to have left that magical world." Umberto Eco
"All too infrequently, a book comes along that's as daring as it is acclaimed Art Spiegelman Maus is just such book." Esquire
"The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust." Wall Street Journal
"Making a Holocaust comic book with Jews as mice and Germans as cats would probably strike most people as flippant, if not appalling. [This book] is the opposite of flippant and appalling. To express yourself as an artist, you must find a form that leaves you in control but doesn't leave you by yourself. That's how Maus looks to me — a way Mr. Spiegelman found of making art." William Hamilton, Books of the Century, The New York Times Book Review
"Spiegelman is not your usual comic book artist. Anyone who can produce a cartoon on the subject of his own mother's suicide is clearly bent on destroying all notions of what 'comics' should or should not be." The Nation
"This is a complex book. It relates events which young adults, as the future architects of society, must confront, and their interest is sure to be caught by the skillful graphics and suspenseful unfolding of the story." School Library Journal
About the Author
Art Spiegelman is co-founder/editor of Raw, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. His work has been published in the New York Times, Playboy, the Village Voice, and many other periodicals, and his drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries here and abroad. Honors he has received for Maus include a Guggenheim fellowship, and nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Mr. Spiegelman lives in New York City with his wife, Francoise Mouly, and their daughter, Nadja.
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