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Anne Frank

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  2,149 Ratings  ·  153 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
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Mar 06, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 03, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 26, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Nov 09, 2009 Susann rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Nov 10, 2010 Persephone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Neil Mudde
Oct 07, 2012 Neil Mudde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 18, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-books
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
I was never assigned The Diary of A Young Girl in school - I either picked it up myself or a teacher suggested it to me, right around fifth grade. And my fascination with Anne and her circumstances, with the differences between her tiny world and the world-changing events surrounding her story, and with the lessons we can take away from her words, has stuck with me ever since.

Perhaps it's because I read her diary outside of an academic setting, but I've never thought about it as a literary clas
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
Dec 31, 2011 Barb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction
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
Oct 31, 2009 Shirley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book Francine Prose reveals what is likely a surprise to many of us who have read the book published as Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl - it is not, strictly speaking, a diary (i.e., entries written in chronological order and faithfully retained as such). Anne Frank furiously rewrote her original diary entries, beginning a few months before her family was discovered by the Gestapo in the Annex in which it had been hiding, in the hopes that her diary would someday be published. Otto Fra ...more
Alex Templeton
Nov 21, 2009 Alex Templeton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 10, 2010 Ginny Messina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holocaust
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
Nov 29, 2009 Jojo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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.
Mar 02, 2014 Pilcrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
It's been a few years since I last read The Diary of Anne Frank but I think I might revisit it after reading this book. The Diary is such a seminal work, such an important part of how we remember the Holocaust; for many young people it serves as their first introduction to the horrors of World War Two and the Nazi genocide. And yet somewhere along the way, many of us have lost sight of the truth at the heart of The Diary, of the truth of Anne's nature, her talent, her outlook on life.

Francine Pr
Lizabeth Tucker
The Diary of Anne Frank. Some readers had this book assigned by their teachers. Others found it through recommendations by friends or librarians. Almost all those readers are children or preteens. Some schools ban it, for so many reasons. I believe that everyone should read it, at least twice. It is an extraordinary work, more so by a child from the ages of 13 to 15.

Prose delves into Anne Frank's oft ignored talents. While the diary is non-fiction, it is as tightly structured as a great work of
Panda Incognito
Biographical only as necessary, this unique book takes Anne Frank's diary seriously as a literary work, telling about her life, her creative process and masterpiece, and the subsequent play, film, and use in schools. After all my reading about Anne Frank, I already was aware of much of the information in the first and third sections, but it was interesting to read from a new perspective, and the book was glorious well-written and expressive.

As a diarist myself, the second section was enthralling
May 10, 2015 Kellye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in two days. The author is a literature professor at Bard College, and she uses Anne Frank as a literary, rather than historical text. If you've ever read this book, this is a fascinating look at some things you likely don't know--controversies surrounding Otto Frank and those who would control his daughter's legacy, troubles getting it printed, the editing process Ann used to update earlier passages of the book. There is also a section on teaching the book. I found this absolutely e ...more
Nov 03, 2014 Maxine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been written by a young girl during the war. Now one could have described this book better than her, because what Anne Frank have written is the revelation of her life, it isn't fictional. It’s a real and true story that she lived. I lived her story with her true out this book. I got attached to this character and in the end she dies. Why? Because she had the misfortune of being Jewish. This little girl was full of hope and courage, she only researching happiness when there wasn't ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book--was it just going to be a close reading of the diary?--but I was really, pleasantly, surprised and ultimately blown away by how much this book moved me. While Prose makes the convincing argument for Anne's literary talents as a writer who was deeply engaged in the process of reflecting on and revising her work, she also draws a bigger and ultimately more painful picture of Anne's life and the people who were central in it. Prose's work human ...more
Jan 02, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 24, 2010 Maren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, non-fiction
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
Sep 10, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrea Dowd
Aug 05, 2010 Andrea Dowd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 04, 2009 Jacki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.

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“Anne is remarkably restrained in calibrating the amount of fear she will admit into the diary. The air raids, the break-ins, and the brutality reported by the helpers and glimpsed from the window appear at regular intervals, so that the reader can never fully relax.” 2 likes
“Because the diary was not written in retrospect, it contains the trembling life of every moment.” 2 likes
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