Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife

Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife

by Francine Prose

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Overview

“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 influence of Anne Frank’s beloved classic, The Diary of a Young Girl. Approved by both the Anne Frank House Foundation in Amsterdam and the Anne Frank-Fonds in Basel, run by the Frank family, this work of literary criticism unravels the complex, fascinating story of the diary and effectively makes the case for it being a work of art from a precociously gifted writer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061430800
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/05/2010
Series: P. S. Series
Pages: 322
Sales rank: 324,718
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)

About the Author

Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction, including Mister Monkey; the New York Times bestseller Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; A Changed Man, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award. Her works of nonfiction include Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim, a Fulbright, and a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, she is a former president of PEN American Center and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York City.

Hometown:

New York, New York

Date of Birth:

April 1, 1947

Place of Birth:

Brooklyn, New York

Education:

B.A., Radcliffe College, 1968

What People are Saying About This

Anne Roiphe

“A fascinating book...riveting to read...”

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Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
BillPilgrim More than 1 year ago
This is a complete exploration of Anne Frank's diary. It includes about 60 pages of her life story. Then it examines and critiques the book as literature. It also explains the process by which Anne wrote the diary, including revisions and editing that she undertook after hearing on the radio that the Dutch government in exile was asking people to save and submit to an official repository their writings about the war period. The description of the controversy around the adaptation of the diary into a play was detailed. This was totally unknown to me before reading this book. There is a complete comparison of the merits of the play and the subsequent film version to the diary, in which both the adaptations come up lacking. There are also brief descriptions of the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, the holocaust deniers focus on the diary as a hoax, and the use of the diary in the public schools. I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it. I've never read the book, although I picked up a used copy several years ago and will probably now read it soon. I generally find holocaust literature to be interesting and I would put the diary and this book in that category.
GentleReaderAB More than 1 year ago
Since i first read her Diary when i was a teen, i was compelled to learn all i could about Anne Frank. Now i'm a Grandmother, and her story still resonates. This book is a detailed examination of how Anne's Diary became the world renouned best seller and its continued impact on new generations. If you want to delve deep into the history of the Diary, this is the book for you. No illustrations and a bit dry and scholarly, it's for select readers more than for the general population who simply want to read about Anne during her years in hiding from the Nazi's.
readingon More than 1 year ago
As other reviewers mentioned, I thought I knew all there is to know about Anne Frank since I read her diary as a teen, saw the play and the movie and even visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. But in this book I learned much more. I then read the "Definitive edition" of the diary and was again overwhelmed by the story presented by this brilliant young writer. I now plan to tell all the serious readers I know to re-visit "The Secret Annex" through this book.
Judithann More than 1 year ago
I thought I knew a great deal about this topic, but I thought wrong. Vivid new details emerge about what happened before the diary began, during the time Anne kept her diary, and what happened, from a legal, moral, theatrical and cinematic point of view after Anne died and her diary became an international sensation. Insightful, informative, provocative and touching.
nansilverrod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this latest book on the life and diaries of Anne Frank, Prose challenges the idea that the diaries were simply the immediate outpouring of a young teen. She takes on the diaries as literature, written by an author who had an eye toward a future audience, and who showed growth and development as a writer as she revised her work over time. Prose illustrates the refinement of Anne Frank's skill, showing us versions of the same entries, which almost always show a more mature and literary eye, and emphasize her skill at dialogue and humor. Prose describes how the members of the annex gathered around the radio, listening to the exiled Dutch Minister of Education who calls for the "establishment of a national archive to house the 'ordinary documents' - diaries, letters...and so forth - written by Dutch citizens during the war." The members of the annex are suddenly aware of the importance of Anne and her diary, and Anne "took his speech as a personal directive," (pp. 11-12).She also shows how the diaries served as Anne's safety valve: her release from the pent up energy and emotion and stress of living in a small, cramped space where she could never be alone. Prose describes the awful scene in which the Franks are discovered and taken away, delves briefly into the questions of who betrayed them, and then moves on to discuss the life of the diaries following the war, when Otto Frank returned, the only member of his family to survive the concentration camps. Prose discusses the various versions of the diary that have been published, the editing, the restoration of edited parts, and the controversies surrounding these decisions. She then goes on to discuss the diary as a play, as the movie featuring the memorable performance by Shelley Winters, and the less than memorable portayal of Anne by Millie Perkins.Finally, Prose looks at how the book has been taught in school, discussing the difficulties of presenting it with enough context for students to grasp the importance of the the diary given a 2008 study that showed only 25% of students could identify Hitler (p.254). She reviews the study and classroom aids available to teachers, and finds them wanting, and then discusses how she would approach teaching the diary, ending with descriptions of her experience doing so at Bard College, and the responses of some of the students.For those readers who have turned back to the diary at various times, and who have poured over the definitive edition in which all three versions of the diary are laid out side-by-side, Prose's work is a welcome addition to our understanding of Anne as a writer, and of the work she left behind her.
MerryMary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where to begin? An amazing book about an amazing person. This book brings me to think far more deeply about a book that is a childhood favorite. The author examines Anne's family and times, the diary and it's various incarnations, the play, the movie, and the treatment of the book in American classrooms.It is the author's contention that Anne is rarely credited with a depth of character, and breadth of talent that she rightly deserves. So many critics see a child spontaneously pouring out her thoughts, and don't give her the credit for editing herself, working hard to develop her characters, choosing the right words and shades of meaning, in short being an enormously talented writer. Now that several versions of her writing are publicly accessible, it is possible to trace her thought processes, her editing, and the extent to which her father edited and even censored her writing.In addition, the author takes to task the playwrights and screenwriters who adapted the Diary to the stage and the screen. In their search for a "universally appealing" story, and a money-maker, the writers stripped a lot of the Jewishness from Anne, a lot of her maturing philosophical attitudes, and her grasp of the enormity of the Holocaust. Anne comes across as a giddy, high-spirited adolescent largely unaware of the dangers of Hitler's programs. Anne's ultimate fate is glossed over too much.I have read the Diary many times, and assisted teachers in using it in the classroom. I think now I would have some different ideas of approach and emphasis. I found this book thought-provoking and highly worthy of recommendation.
wortklauberlein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent book in need of an editor to reduce the repetition and rein in some of the more overwrought phrasing.The basic premise -- that young Anne Frank took her work very seriously and was not writing a private diary of a young girl but a public book for future generations -- is well documented with comparisons among the various versions of the diary. Those are the original, the one Anne laboriously reworked in the months before the discovery of the Jews in hiding, and the one her father edited and that formed the basis of the Anne Frank "brand" that grew to include a Broadway play and the film by George Stevens.Francine Prose zeros in on a literary paradox: "There is in the library of materpieces, an entire subcategory of books whose authors coud be said to have been forced into a collaboration with misfortune....These are books that came into being at a personal cost that no one would be willing to pay. It is likely that none of them would have written their novels and poems and memoirs if they could have avoided their subjects, if their subjects had not sought them out, or hunted them down. All of which makes it problematic for us to say how good the books are, and how grateful we are that they exist." Eye-opening and shocking is the account of one challenge in particular out of the many challenges to teaching Anne Frank's diary in the schools. In Mozert v. Hawkins County Board of Education, the plaintiffs were offended by the assertion -- taken from the play, not Anne's diary -- that belief in any god is better than no belief at all. The plaintiffs also claimed "the readings fostered rebellion and anarchy, and that both parents and children could face eternal damnation as a result of merely coming into contact with the 'evil,' 'polluted,' and 'heathen' texts. More shocking: a court ordered the school board to pay the families more than $50,000 in damages, a ruling reversed on appeal.The very people who most need to read Anne Frank, to understand the enormity of what was lost in the hatred of the Holocaust, are those who "reject for their children any concept of world community ... or human interdependency," as did the Mozert plaintiffs.
BillPilgrim on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a complete exploration of Anne Frank's diary. It includes about 60 pages of her life story. Then it examines and critiques the book as literature. It also explains the process by which Anne wrote the diary, including revisions and editing that she undertook after hearing on the radio that the Dutch government in exile was asking people to save and submit to an official repository their writings about the war period. The description of the controversy around the adaptation of the diary into a play was detailed. This was totally unknown to me before reading this book. There is a complete comparison of the merits of the play and the subsequent film version to the diary, in which both the adaptations come up lacking. There are also brief descriptions of the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, the holocaust deniers focus on the diary as a hoax, and the use of the diary in the public schools.I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it. I've never read the book, although I picked up a used copy several years ago and will probably now read it soon. I generally find holocaust literature to be interesting and I would put the diary and this book in that category.
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This young girl did many great things and this is how you repay her?By saying"i killed anne frank"?How dare you make fun of her?You should be ashamed of yourself!She died in a concentration camp for being jewish.she did nothing bad to them or YOU.SO THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK JERK?GOD BLESS YOU ANNE FRANK.MAY YOUR SOUL BE IN PEACE!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is so sad how Anne Frank died. She definetly taught us all something: that we should stand for what we belive in. Also sh taught us that life is short but should be well lived. ANNE FRANK: May your story live long though you didn't. GOD BLESS YOU!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anne frank is a stranger but shes also like my best friend