Maus: One Book, One Chicago 2022

Maus by Art Spiegelman was the 33rd selection for One Book, One Chicago. The season’s program explored the theme "Freedom To Read." From September through December 2022, we explored the theme from multiple perspectives, as recounted through personal experience, imagined in literature, presented in politics, or synthesized in music and art.

Maus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel, is a brutally moving work of art - widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written. It recounts the chilling experiences of the author's father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma.

Over the years, Spiegelman and Maus have won several prestigious awards. Most notably, in 1992, Art Spiegelman won the Pulitzer Prize for this masterful Holocaust narrative. In 2005, Art Spiegelman was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. In 2009, Maus was chosen by the Young Adult Library Association as one of its recommended titles for all students. In 2020, the New York Public Library voted Maus one of the 125 most important books of the last 125 years.

As always, the book is just the beginning! From September through December 2022, One Book, One Chicago explored the “Freedom to Read” theme with supplemental programming across Chicago that is centered on the freedom of expression. Community members had the opportunity to not only read this year’s One Book, One Chicago selection, but also browse related recommendations and attend events like book discussions, neighborhood tours, workshops, lectures, and film screenings.

Programs included discussions, recommended reading lists, digital content, lectures, and workshops. Highlights included:

  • Keynote program: Maus Author Art Spiegelman in conversation with his wife, New Yorker Art Editor Françoise Mouly, on November 3 at 6 p.m.
  • Book clubs and discussion groups citywide
  • Illustration workshops to learn to tell your story through art
  • Neighborhood walking tours exploring art, expression, freedom and community
  • Community Cinema film screens of films with themes of freedom

This page was last updated September 5, 2023.

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