|The diary of Anne Frank, argues Prose, is as much a work of art as a historical record. Here, she tells the extraordinary story of the book that became a force in the world--definitively establishing Anne Frank as the writer she always knew she was.|
|From the Publisher:
In June 1942, Anne Frank received a red-and-white-checked diary for her thirteenth birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in an Amsterdam attic to escape the Nazis. For two years, with ever-increasing maturity, Anne crafted a memoir that has become one of the most compelling documents of modern history. But Anne Frank's diary, argues Francine Prose, is as much a work of art as it is a historical record. Through close reading, she marvels at the teenage Frank's skillfully natural narrative voice, at her finely tuned dialogue and ability to turn living people into characters.
Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife tells the extraordinary story of the book that became a force in the world. Along the way, Prose definitively establishes that Anne Frank was not an accidental author or a casual teenage chronicler but a writer of prodigious talent and ambition.
THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL, by Anne Franmk, has become more than just a book--it has become a cultural institution and a literary monument to the horrors of war, the Holocaust, and the beauty and tragedy of the human spirit. A bestseller a thousand times over, it has been adapted for stage and screen and, like all great works of art, it has been fought over by intellectuals, historians, and critics. Acclaimed novelist Francine Prose (BLUE ANGEL) delves into all facets of Anne Frank's influence: Holocaust deniers who have tried to prove the book a fraud, Christian groups that denounced the book for Frank's musings on sex, Broadway playwrights who tried to tone down Frank's Jewishness, and Jewish critics who were angered by Frank being turned into a universal symbol, rather than a Jewish one. Perhaps Prose's greatest contribution is her loving analysis of Frank's writing itself--she argues passionately that Frank was no mere girlish diarist, but a great literary figure, and that her book was edited and crafted as carefully as any work of art.
The aptly named Prose, daughter of a pathologist, graduated from Radcliffe in 1968 and promptly decided to become a writer. She has written novels, novellas, short stories, and children's books, as well as countless articles and reviews; she has also worked as an editor, and has taught in various writing programs. She lived for several years in a rural town in upstate New York and has two sons. Prose is known for her wry, witty voice and her keen observations of human foibles. Her novel HOUSEHOLD SAINTS was made into a movie in 1997.
"Ms. Prose uses her formidable powers of discernment to write incisively about many facets of the Anne Frank phenomenon, from the life itself to the various ways in which it has been willfully distorted....[S]he turns her thoughts into a lively and illuminating disquisition."
- Janet Maslin
"[A] definitive, deeply moving inquiry into the life of the young, imperiled artist and [a] masterful literary exegesis of THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL....[Prose] portrays Anne Frank not as a saint or a plucky girl making the most of a horrific situation but, rather, as a literary prodigy excruciatingly aware of the human capacity for evil...." (starred review)
- Donna Seaman
"It's hard to find much fresh to say about a book that has been scrutinized as much as Frank's diary. Prose valiantly attempts to solve the problem by linking an exegesis of the text to a look at its reverberations in the media and academia....The best part of Prose's book is her consideration of Frank's divisive legacy."
- Joshua Hammer
"Francine Prose...takes Anne's story and adds to it a new perspective, that of Anne as editor, deliberate historian and exemplary writer....[She] tells this story with tremendous beauty, pathos and a profound awareness of tragic coincidence."
- Sara Houghteling
"You read the diary, you've seen the play and the movie....Surely you don't need to read a new book about [Anne Frank] or reread the diary. Well -- surprise. Francine Prose will make you feel you have not grasped the full story....Prose takes Anne Frank seriously as a writer, applying her crystalline critical insight to the work itself. She explains that far from being a piece of 'found art' written by an ingenue, the diary is a consciously crafted work of literature by someone who was already, at 15, a real writer..."
- Marion Winik