Maus by Art Spiegelman has been in the spotlight recently due to a school’s decision to remove the title from its classrooms.
The decision made by a US school district to ban the graphic novel has actually encouraged people to purchase it, and it now tops the Amazon charts.
In what is a spectacular backfire, Spiegelman’s retelling of his father’s life in Poland during WWII, and the generational trauma that follows, has become a bestseller decades after it was first published.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust story was removed from the eighth-grade curriculum by the McMinn County Board of Education. This decision caused quite a backlash, with many accusing the board of falling in line with conservative values that intend to stop kids and teens from learning about serious and difficult, but ultimately important, topics.
Just like with any book ban, people began buying the book for themselves and their own kids.
Parts one and two of Maus has been selling out online, not just on Amazon, and has been hitting the top ten. The Complete Maus, the full graphic novel, topped Amazon’s hourly best-sellers list.
Folk on Twitter have been offering to purchase the book for those who cannot afford it but would like to access it, while librarians have been placing it at the front of prominent displays.
The school board claims it removed Maus for its use of profanity but many people do not believe this is the real reason. It has been suggested that Maus confronts many people’s own sensitivities, and accusing the board of trying to ‘censor history’.
The author of Maus, Art Spiegelman, told CNN that the ban “has the breath of autocracy and fascism”.