Anne Frank
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Anne Frank

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  889 ratings  ·  135 reviews
“A definitive, deeply moving inquiry into the life of the young, imperiled artist, and a masterful exegesis of Diary of a Young Girl…Extraordinary testimony to the power of literature and compassion” –Booklist (starred review)

In Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife, Francine Prose, author of Reading Like a Writer, deftly parses the artistry, ambition, and enduring...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published (first published September 16th 2009)
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Moira Russell
About the first half of the book is devastating -- detailing Anne's life, her writing, her death, her book, her afterlife. Then Prose writes about the dramatic and cinematic adaptations of Anne's diary, and that's horribly hilarious. The last section of the book isn't as well-structured -- she leaps from Holocaust deniers to school challenges to how to teach the diary -- and depends way too much on the internet (a lot of it is already badly dated: Yahoo message boards?). But the rather lyrical e...more
Lisa Vegan
Nov 20, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone who has read any edition of Anne Frank’s diary; those interested in writing
This is a must read book for anyone who’s read and appreciated Anne Frank’s diary in any of its published forms.

I am now eager to read the critical edition of the diary, which includes the revisions made by Anne in her last months before her capture; all 3 versions of her diary are included.

The only edition of the diary that I’ve read is the copy I have that I first read when I was eleven. I would have appreciated it so much more if my first reading had been at age thirteen, but my mother was ea...more
Teresa
How helpful is a review when the reviewer is already predisposed to the subject? From the time of my first reading of Anne Frank's diary when I was a young girl, I've been fascinated by its author's voice and by the fact that the diary even exists, surviving against the odds.

From my adult reading of the so-called definitive edition of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, I arrived at some of the same conclusions Prose did. Though I never actually articulated to myself, though Prose does, that...more
Laura
I can understand why HarperCollins was a little nervous about this book: Prose does not play into the cult of Saint Anne. Rather, she looks at the "diary" (which, according to the evidence, was as much a literary creation - edited, reedited - as it was a documentation of Anne's thoughts and life) as the work of an author learning her craft under extraordinary circumstances.

The version I read, and the stage play I saw, in junior and high school are not the version that Anne wrote. Back then, who...more
Emily
I was so pleased to be a first reads winner of this book, and am happy to report that it is indeed a worthwhile and absorbing read, one I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about Anne, the context in which her diary was created, and the social history of the cultural phenomenon the diary has become.

Francine Prose states clearly her belief that Anne Frank was a genius, and she makes a convincing case. Most interesting to me was the section on the writing of the diar...more
Susann
Nov 09, 2009 Susann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: anyone who has read the Diary
I enthusiastically recommend this examination of and discourse on Anne Frank as a writer, the extensive literary merits of her Diary, the effects of the play and movie adaptations, and on teaching the Diary. Prose is passionate about Anne and the Diary and she shows her opinions alongside her impressive research. I thought I already knew quite a bit about Anne and the Diary, but I learned so much more with this book.

I'll save my specific Diary thoughts for my upcoming re-read and review of it....more
Persephone
I was ten years old when I saw the play The Diary of Anne Frank on television. My mother explained beforehand that Anne had hidden from the Nazis with her family, but was discovered and sent to a concentration camp. I could tell by the way she said this that this was a sinister thing, but wondered what could be so dreadful about a camp where they made you think hard.

The play must have made a deep impression because for Christmas, my father gave me a copy of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl...more
Kate
Most of it was fascinating. I felt Prose handled Anne Frank's life very well. I love the sections that discussed Anne's actual writing. Those were engrossing. And I like the part where she discussed even the negative legacy of Frank's work.

It was the parts about the play and the movie where I felt she got bogged down. She discusses Meyer Levin's involvement with the play ad nauseum and the actors in the original Broadway production -- none of whom I was familiar with. She could have used some ph...more
Neil Mudde
Having recently traveled to Holland and visiting Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam, then reading this book I am amazed at the goings on that happened after the diary was discovered left behind by Anne, saved by Miep who took care of those in hiding, by risking her life, and providing food etc.
Ms Prose tells us about how Miep gave the diary to Anne,s Father Otto Frank who realized Anne had written this with the intent of having this published, no doubt at the time of writing she would not have dreamed...more
Michelle
This is a badly needed and tremendously well-done examination of Anne Frank, her book, adaptations of her book, and her place and influence in our society today. I was worried at first at what tone the author might take--there have been enough sappy sentimentalists writing about Anne and "people are really good at heart" and yet I did not want to see DAF ripped to shreds and left to die, either. Prose has found a wonderful balance between the needed criticism and a basic admiration for Anne as a...more
Elliot Ratzman
Anne Frank’s Diary “even more mysterious and fundamental than Augustine’s…the conversion of a child into a person” (Philip Roth). Read it in junior high? Saw the play? Forget all that, read this book, a fascinating review of her life, the writing of the diary, and its afterlife. The author makes the strong case for Anne Frank’s talent as a writer and for the diary as an important work of art. Anne Frank revised the diary for publication after they hear on the radio the Dutch government in exile...more
Alex Templeton
This book was fantastic, and fascinating. It not only appeals to the reader (such as myself) who is interested in Anne Frank, but who is also interested in the appreciation of talented writers, with a little human psychology thrown into the mix. Before I read this book, I did not know (or, at least, did not remember from any prior reading that I'd done) that Anne had done many revisions on her diary, in the hope that it would able to be published as a historical document of wartime, once the who...more
Ginny Messina
I’m a little surprised by how much I loved this book which is about Anne Frank’s family, her diary, the story of how it came to be published and the play and movies that were based on it. I expected the parts about Anne and the diary to be interesting, but not the rest of it. The book is just packed with fascinating information and insights, though. I put it down several times to check out videos on the web—those of the movie, and most compelling of all, the rare 10 seconds of footage of Anne be...more
Jojo
Prose presents an interesting perspective on Anne Frank as a writer. Most interesting, though, is probably her discussion of "the afterlife" of the diary. How the diary has been fought over, interpreted, and used for various purposes, as well as how it is taught in the US and in other countries, provides context for interpreting my own sense of the diary when I first read it in the 70s and how I perceive it now as a more educated adult. I would recommend this book for anyone who will ever teach...more
Margali
This was a really interesting book. I had no idea there had been so much (forgive the pun) drama about the creation of the play based on Anne Frank's diary. The author definitely does not think highly of either version of the play, nor of the movie, but her love and regard for the diary comes shining through. This definitely made me want to read The Diary of a Young Girl and see how my response to it has changed now that I am adult.
Pilcrow
For all the words that have been spent on Anne Frank and her iconic diary in the decades since the Holocaust, only a few have addressed Anne the Writer, and this may the first time there have been enough to make up a book. Much has been written about Anne the Symbol and, later, Anne the Person; her role as a writer has almost been irrelevant to our understanding of the Diary so far. Prose makes us understand that the Diary as we know it isn't actually a diary, but the product of Anne's skillful...more
Sarah
This is a good overview of Anne Frank's diary from inception, to reception, to its many incarnations as film, play etc, coupled with a look at Anne the writer, and Anne the myth.

It is strongest when dealing with the latter two aspects of Anne Frank - it was fascinating to learn that Anne revised and rewrote portions of her diary with an eye to it actually being shared with the world, whereas I'd always assumed it to be, literally, a private diary (Prose notes the title 'diary of a young girl' w...more
Maren
Francine Prose accomplishes something really interesting with this book: she kept me so engaged that I basically forgot I was reading something scholarly.

The book consists of three sections: a close reading of Anne Frank's diary, a look at Anne's writing process, and the legacy her diary left, including the dramatic story behind the diary's stage adaptation. Prose (who has an amazing last name, for a writer) compiles an amazing amount of information and analysis, presenting it with a fluid, cris...more
Chris
What is it about Anne Frank? Why is her diary still read, nay, almost worshipped today?

Francine Prose answers this question to the best of her ability, which is a large pretty large ability.

Prose is not a hero worshipper, and she is not a, at least wholly, a myth despeller. Her book chronicles Anne's brief life as well as the much longer life of Anne Frank, the Diary of a Young Girl. Prose not only makes the case that Frank wrote Literature (yes, with the L), but that she has been disvalued beca...more
Andrea Dowd
Having been in awe of Anne Frank since tender childhood, thinking that I know so much about the girl and her family and the terrifying two years spent in hiding, I opened Francine Prose's book looking for fresh insight...and I got it in spades.

"The Book, The Life, The Afterlife" reminded me of Anne's diary as a piece of literary work, not solely a historical document or a youth's recordings. Her human-ness and not her hunmane-ness stood out in sharp relief against my own ideas and ideals that I...more
Jacki
I remember reading Diary of A Young Girl when I was 10 or 11 then again when I was 14 or so then again when I was 16... and so on and so forth. This is one of those books that just got me. It was my first introduction into the Holocaust, but more than that I just loved this honest view of a girl growing up.

This book is about the diary and how it came together and Anne Frank's life and just the results of this book being published. The first 3/4ths were great. It was a lot of history about the d...more
Edith
Probably most of us have read “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank in our teen years. All of my children also read it in their 7th grade Calvert curriculum some 10-20 years ago. I saw the high school play while a teen (at Central Christian, Julia!) and my children’s home school academy also performed the play one year.

What I did not know is that Anne herself went back and revised and rewrote her original diary after she and her family listened to a broadcast of Dutch news from the governme...more
G
Francine Prose, a New York Times bestselling author, argues in Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, that The Diary of a Young Girl is a work of art. I agree with her whole heartedly. Why else would this book which was first published in Dutch in 1947 as Het Achterhuis (What Anne had intended the title to be) translated into more than 60 languages and still be in the hands of both children, teenagers, and adults today? Ms. Prose shares her insight into Anne Frank - how Anne’s words taug...more
Lauren Hopkins
Having read Anne Frank's diary several times and having visited the secret annex in Amsterdam, I decided to go a step further into my understanding of what happened by reading Francine Prose's highly recommended reappraisal of Anne's work and its global impact. Divided into three sections (the book, the life, and the afterlife), Prose looks deeply into Anne Frank as both the little girl in the attic and the prodigy writer who dreamed of living forever. She explains the versions of Anne's diary a...more
Elizabeth K.
Dec 07, 2011 Elizabeth K. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Susann
Shelves: 2011-new-reads
The author's intent here is to explore Anne Frank's book as a work of literature. In contrast to what is possibly a general view that part of its appeal is that Anne Frank was a little girl writing a diary for no one but herself, there is documented evidence that Anne Frank indeed intended to seek publication of her diary, and in anticipation of that, started editing her previous entries. Even as a young person, she saw herself as a writer and comparing her original entries against those she rev...more
MAP
*****this is my own personal story...skip to read the main review*****
The Diary of Anne Frank was one of the first books that had a massive impact on me. I read it first at the age of 7 or 8 (way too young) and have read it almost every year since then.

I read it as a young child and was fascinated with her observations, her clever recounting of day to day life, the way she described the people around her.

I read her as a teenager and was shocked to discover how much her own questions about her bo...more
Jim Fisketti
Anne Frank's image is one of the most iconic on earth. Her Diary was been read by millions thoughout the world including countless students in American middle and high schools.She is the most widely know figure representing the Holocaust as well as genocide.
The details are well know. The Franks, Anne, her parents,Otto and edith, sister Margot,a middle aged couple,their adolescent son and a dentist, hid from the Nazi Gestapo for over two years in an attic in Amsterdam. They were hidden by Ottos h...more
Johanna
This is a valuable, necessary book. Prose clearly outlines the three versions of the diary. I had known there were different versions but had not understood their significance. She also explains the controversies surrounding the manner in which the diary has been made into plays and movies. She argues convincingly that we should take Anne seriously as a writer.

She has quite a pedantic tone, however, which surprised me, because I liked her writing in her novels. Here, the material largely speaks...more
Barb
Prose discusses Anne Frank's life, her work as a writer, the versions of her diary, and what happened after the publication of the diary. Prose is at her best when discussing Anne as a writer; I didn't know about the various versions of the diary, or that Anne had revised it (which seems somewhat obvious, in retrospect).

The sections on the play get bogged down with details about the controversy about the writing; Prose acts as though the reader of the book is already familiar with the people in...more
Emas
I'm surprised that this book has received such a warm reception. Prose does a good job of pinpointing the editorial decisions that made Anne a great writer. The side-by-side comparisons of the different versions are enlightening. However, it's also abundantly clear that Prose lacks that eye for style that she so reveres in Anne. The book bumbles along with thoughts introduced and then left in the wind as Prose picks up some other unrelated idea about Anne's words. At times, I found myself disagr...more
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Francine Prose (born in 1947 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American novelist. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1968, and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1991. She has sat on the board of judges for the PEN/Newman's Own Award, and her novel Blue Angel, a satire about sexual harassment on college campuses, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is now teaching at Bard College.

For...more
More about Francine Prose...
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them Blue Angel Goldengrove After My New American Life

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