I recently found out about this amazing graphic novel called Maus, by Art Spiegelman. I think it’s pretty well known, but just in case you don’t know about it, here are the details:
Publisher: Penguin Books
Number of pages: 296
Genre: Biography/ Autobiography
“Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale and Maus II – the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler’s Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival – and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.”
I haven’t finished reading this graphic novel, but I can already tell it is one worth reading! It is so raw and real. Spiegelman has drawn all Jews as mice, Poles as pigs, Nazis as cats and Americans as dogs. It’s amazing what an effect that has when you’re reading through the book, thinking about how it’s about Art Spiegelman’s father’s life. One thing I really love about the artwork and writing is that even though the people are drawn as different animals, nothing is different to how it actually was during World War II; Spiegelman hasn’t toned anything down or tried to make it into some fictional wonder with metaphors, symbols and all of that stuff. That’s not to say that I don’t like metaphor-littered writing, but in this graphic novel, just the true events and emotions of the people, shown through pictures as well as writing, is enough. I’m really grateful that the author/illustrator decided to share this story, and I’m even more thankful that his father allowed for his life to be shared through the 250+ pages of this novel.
I definitely urge you to go get this graphic novel! It’s truly a beautiful piece of art and literature, combined.