Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife by Francine Prose | LibraryThing
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife (2009)

by Francine Prose

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3231359,764 (4.01)26
Francine Prose argues that the diary of Anne Frank is as much a deliberate work of art as it is an historical record, noting its literary merits and thoroughly investigating the diary's unique afterlife as one of the world's most read, and banned, books.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 26 mentions

English (12)  Italian (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
The first section of this book looks at the life of Anne Frank. In part two, Prose takes a critical look at Frank as a writer and addresses the reception history of Frank’s diary. In part three, Prose examines the way that the diary has been taught at levels from elementary school through university. Prose concludes with her own experience teaching a seminar on Anne Frank at Bard College. The controversy over the play and film versions of the diary was new to me. Prose does a thorough job of analyzing the controversy and the personalities involved. This book belongs in all libraries that own a copy of Anne Frank’s diary. It should be background reading for instructors preparing to teach students of any level about Anne Frank and her diary. ( )
  cbl_tn | Apr 27, 2020 |

Has a lot of useful detail on how the Diary came to be written and published, and also some unedifying details about the creation of the Broadway play, the movie, and its use by revisionists, but I recommend it as a book anyway. ( )
  nwhyte | May 16, 2015 |

This book is an analysis of Anne Frank's diary as a work of literature, particularly comparing the three different versions - a (the original version she wrote day by day), b (the revised version she rewrote in mid 1944 after Dutch Minister Bolkestein's radio call for Dutch citizens to preserve their wartime reminiscences for posterity, which reflects her maturing views as a 15 year old rather than a 13 year old) and c (the synthesis of a and b and which was the original published version in 1947). It also analyses the 1950s Broadway and Hollywood versions of the diary - the bitter arguments over their purpose and the best approach to their presentation, especially over the former, make for unedifying reading. Though not nearly so unpleasant as the (mercifully) quite short chapter about the attempts of Holocaust deniers to try to show the diary was a hoax. The book concludes with some reflections by the author on the challenges and opportunities teaching Anne Frank to students. I wasn't always convinced by the author's literary conclusions, but this was mostly quite interesting in covering differing aspects of this remarkable diary and its author. ( )
  john257hopper | Oct 17, 2013 |
I found all the references to the multiple versions of the diary fascinating - I had heard about some editing by her father but not the fact that Anne had begun to re-write/edit herself ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
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 revised do show a very skillful, committed, and reflective approach to her own work.

There are several sections focusing on different aspects of the book as a literary work, including its creation, its publication, the play, the movie, and how it is taught in schools. The information was very, very interesting Francine Prose does a great job of putting it all together.

My one (small) quibble with this is the author's conviction that her approach, the "work of literature" approach is the right approach. Now, she doesn't come out and say this, because I'm not sure she's aware of it, because OF COURSE you have to say (and she does) that it's also valid to use the diary as a tool for teaching social justice and humanitarian issues -- but her heart just doesn't seem in it. It was actually funny to me how she would use examples of students' responses to the diary in a social justice setting to show how earnestly trite they are, and then show similar examples of students responding in a literary instruction setting and they were just as earnest and just as trite. She however seemed to see those as examples of earnestly insightful. I think the take-away is not so much that a literary approach makes for better understanding, I think it's that teens (and others) are earnest and sincere and often come across as goofy no matter what lens you are using to present the diary. And that's okay.

Grade: A-
Recommended: To anyone who has vivid memories of their first reading of The Diary and even the vaguest interest in thinking about it as literature as opposed to a strict historical document. ( )
  delphica | May 4, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Prose’s summaries and explanations of dialogue and plot can, inevitably, sometimes read like CliffsNotes, but she makes a persuasive argument for Anne Frank’s literary genius.
This is a Grade A example of what a smart, precise and impassioned teacher can do.
In the absence of new material, those who write about her must either endlessly rehearse what's already known, reconstitute her for a modern audience or analyse those "new" Anne Franks. Francine Prose tries to do all three and fails much of the time. For, if Anne Frank has in some sense become a sign, then the task of analysing her book's afterlife requires the skills of a semiotician rather than a novelist.
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Howie
First words
I would call the subject of Anne Frank's Diary even more mysterious and fundamental than St. Augustine's, and describe it as: the conversion of a child into a person...
Only a natural writer could sound as if she is not writing so much as thinking on the page.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Francine Prose argues that the diary of Anne Frank is as much a deliberate work of art as it is an historical record, noting its literary merits and thoroughly investigating the diary's unique afterlife as one of the world's most read, and banned, books.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.01)
2 1
2.5 1
3 12
3.5 2
4 26
4.5 4
5 15

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 154,111,556 books! | Top bar: Always visible