Maus is a graphic novel by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman, serialized from 1980 to 1991. It depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The book uses postmodern techniques—most strikingly in its depiction of races of humans as different kinds of animals: Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and non-Jewish Poles as pigs. Critics have classified Maus as memoir, biography, history, fiction, autobiography, or a mix of genres. In 1992 it became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize.
In the frame tale timeline in the narrative present that begins in 1978 in the Rego Park section of New York City, Spiegelman talks with his father about his Holocaust experiences, gathering material for the Maus project he is preparing. In the narrative past, Spiegelman depicts these experiences, starting in the years leading up to World War II. Much of the story revolves around Spiegelman's troubled relationship with his father, and the absence of his mother who committed suicide when he was 20. Her grief-stricken husband destroyed her written accounts of Auschwitz. The book uses a minimalist drawing style while displaying innovation in its page and panel layouts, pacing, and structure.
A three-page 1972 strip by Spiegelman, also called "Maus", gave Spiegelman an opportunity to interview his father about his life during World War II. The recorded interviews became the basis for the graphic novel, which Spiegelman began in 1978. He serialized Maus from 1980 until 1991 as an insert in Raw, an avant-garde comics and graphics magazine published by Spiegelman and his wife, Françoise Mouly. It was one of the first graphic novels to receive significant academic attention in the English-speaking world.