Chicago Public Library (CPL) today announced that Maus by author Art Spiegelman is the 2022 One Book, One Chicago selection. One Book, One Chicago is a free citywide literary program that connects Chicagoans and their communities around a singular chosen text. From September through December 2022, CPL will explore the book and many programs through this season’s central theme “Freedom to Read.” Mr. Spiegelman will be in Chicago November 3rd for a keynote program at the Harold Washington Library Center.
"Now, more than ever, we must make sure residents of all ages have access to quality reading opportunities," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "Maus is one such opportunity, and with it being the 2022 selection for One Book, One Chicago, we will be able to deepen the connection between our libraries and communities by sparking insightful and thoughtful dialogue. I applaud the Chicago Public Library and Commissioner Chris Brown for their continued dedication in providing residents with spaces to discuss some of the most impactful written works of our lifetime.”
Since 2001, Chicago Public Library (CPL)’s One Book, One Chicago program has brought readers across our city together to collectively dive into a book and participate in programs based on its key themes and messages.
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. Given that Spiegelman’s book has been one of the country’s most frequently challenged books over the years, it a natural fit with CPL’s 2022 theme of “Freedom to Read.”
Maus is just the beginning of this important work. From September through December, One Book, One Chicago will explore the “Freedom to Read” theme with supplemental programming across Chicago that is centered on the freedom of expression. Community members will have 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.
"This year's One Book, One Chicago theme responds directly to the rising attacks we're seeing across the country on our collective freedom to read,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Chris Brown. “By choosing this theme of "Freedom to Read" we're reminding each other of our mission as Chicago Public Library to support our diverse City of Chicagoans in their freedom to read, learn and discover. One Book, One Chicago's "Freedom to Read" celebrates the beauty of our diverse voices and stories."
For years, books celebrating different perspectives and marginalized voices have been targeted for removal from library collections all around the country. In fact, the American Library Association reported more than 729 attempted bans of 1,597 individual books in 2021 alone. To counteract this, this year, CPL will be showcasing underrepresented viewpoints and including books and authors who are facing censorship challenges across America.
Author Art Spiegelman will appear in-person at the Harold Washington Library Center on November 3rd, in conversation with designer, editor, and publisher Françoise Moulyon to discuss his career, Maus, and the importance of freedom. Meanwhile, CPL has created a whole series of “Freedom to Read” events, including dozens of opportunities to discuss the book Maus throughout the city; discussions about other popularly banned books; illustration workshops for those who want to create their own graphic novels; workshops on digital privacy and freedom of expression; community cinema events of films with themes of freedom, expression and community; and Chicago history themed walking tours and lectures on “Chicago Uncensored,” showcasing diverse histories and viewpoints that the public may not have heard of before. To learn more, inquire at your local library or visit the Library’s One Book, One Chicago webpage at www.onebookonechicago.org. Patrons can sign up for monthly e-newsletters updates as well as engage with One Book, One Chicago on Twitter and Facebook by using #OBOC.
Part of One Book, One Chicago’s programs are presented with community partners, such as Loyola University Chicago, Harold Washington College, Northeastern Illinois University, and DePaul University. DePaul University is continuing its ongoing study that explores the impact of citywide literary programs.
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.
For complete program information and events, visit onebookonechicago.org.
The 2022 One Book, One Chicago program is made possible by Bank of America, United Airlines, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and other generous donors to CPL’s philanthropic partner, Chicago Public Library Foundation (CPLF). To learn more about how CPLF supports the Library’s mission and offerings, visit cplfoundation.org.