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Maus: Graphic novel tops Amazon best-sellers after school ban

Image source, Getty Images

A Pulitzer prize-winning novel about the Holocaust has topped Amazon’s best-seller’s list after a school board in Tennessee banned it.

The graphic novel Maus: A Survivor’s Tale depicts how the author’s parents survived Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

Board members voted in favour of banning the novel because it contained swear words and a naked illustration.


But now The Complete Maus, which includes all volumes, is a best-seller.

Other editions are topping Amazon sub-categories, including Comics & Graphic Novels.

Six million Jewish people died in the Holocaust – Nazi Germany’s campaign to eradicate Europe’s Jewish population.

Author Art Spiegelman’s parents were Polish Jews who were sent to Nazi concentration camps during World War Two.

His novel, which features hand-drawn illustrations of mice as Jews and cats as Nazis, won a number of literary awards in 1992.

The book’s renewed popularity came earlier this month after the McMinn County Board of Education removed it from the curriculum.

Board members said that they felt the inclusion of swear words in the graphic novel were inappropriate for the eighth grade curriculum.

In the meeting’s minutes, the director of schools, Lee Parkinson, was quoted as having said: “There is some rough, objectionable language in this book.”

Members also objected to a cartoon that featured “nakedness” in a drawing of a mouse.

Initially, Mr Parkinson argued that redacting the swear words was the best course of action.

But citing copyright concerns, the board eventually decided to ban the teaching of the novel altogether.

Some board members did back the novel’s inclusion in the curriculum.

In an interview with CNBC the author of the novel, Mr Spiegelman, said he was “baffled” by the decision and called it an “Orwellian” course of action.

He told The New York Times that he agreed that some of the imagery was disturbing. “But you know what? It’s disturbing history,” he said.

The move to ban the novel comes amid a national debate over the curriculum in US public schools. Parents, teachers and school administrators have been grappling with how to teach race, discrimination and inequality in the classroom.

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