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‘Maus’ author Spiegelman to speak at GU Sept. 25

If you consult any source on the most influential graphic novels every published, the resulting list is likely to begin with a single title.

And that title would be "Maus."

That work, conceived, written and drawn by Art Spiegelman, was published in serial form over the years 1980 to 1991. It reflects the author's relationship with his father, a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor, and details the horrific experiences endured by both his parents (his mother committed suicide when he was 20).

The novel's conceit? All the character are animals: Germans and Poles are cats and pigs, while Jews are portrayed as pigs. Published in a single book, "Maus" became in 1992 the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize.

"Maus" was, as described by Washington Post reviewer Michael Cavna, as "a landmark project that led the American public, including many literary critics, toward seeing comics as a serious art form."

Spiegelman, who is 70, is scheduled to speak at Gonzaga University on Sept 25 as part of the 2018-19 Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series. Others in the series include poet Sierra Golden, writer and actress Elena Passarello, poet Giovanni singleton and novelist Helen Helen Maria Viramontes.

The event, which will be held in GU's Hemmingson Center Ballroom, is free and open to the public.