PEN America Publishes Interview with Art Spiegelman, Author of Maus
Art Spiegelman was shocked last year to hear that Maus, his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, had been banned in a school district in Tennessee. Even more surprising was the rationale — not the violent history of his parents’ journey to Auschwitz chronicled in the memoir, but a single illustration of a “nude woman.” The picture depicted his dead mother in the bathtub after she committed suicide. Spiegelman joked, darkly, that schools wanted “a kinder, gentler, fuzzier Holocaust” to teach to children.
What did you think when you first heard Maus was banned?
You know, I thought it was similar to the moment when I got a Pulitzer Prize, and I found out about it by mail. I said, that’s not happening, that’s some weird part of my dream life. Because Maus has become so firmly entrenched in schools. It didn’t seem like this was the kind of thing anybody would get up in arms about because even in McMinn County, people were reading it for many, many years.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.