June 16

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Maus : A survivor’s tale book club discussion questions

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale is available for loan as one of the Gold Coast City Council Library’s book club kits.

**Please be aware that book discussion questions contain spoilers**

Synopsis: Maus by Art Spiegelman

Maus is a graphic novel written by the author following a series of interviews with his father, Vladek, who is a Holocaust survivor. Vladek and Artie have avoided contact for some time, which Artie blames on unresolved issues from his father’s past.

Discussion Questions

  • Does the graphic novel format assist the telling of this story? Why or why not?
  • The art style in Maus is relatively simple. What choices did the author make, as illustrator, to assist the telling of his story.
  • What do the masks represent? What is the author trying to say via the process of revealing that the characters are wearing masks?
  • To what extent is Vladek’s personality formed by his Holocaust experiences?
  • When you first heard that the book was about a Holocaust survivor, what did you expect?
  • Is the expectation that survivors be moral paragons a form of cruelty?

Helpful links

Publisher’s website (contains elaborate book club discussion questions

Earlier book coasters review