Anne Frank by Francine Prose
The Book, The Life, The Afterlife

55%

19 Critic Reviews

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.
-Guardian

Synopsis

“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.
 

About Francine Prose

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Francine Prose is the critically acclaimed author of nineteen novels, including the National Book Award Finalist Blue Angel and My New American Life. She has written three other novels for young adults: After, winner of the California Young Reader Medal, an IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice, and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age; Bullyville, a PW Best Book and Book Sense Children's Pick; and her most recent, Touch. She is also the author of two picture books, Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig and Rhino, Rhino, Sweet Potato. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, Francine Prose was Director's Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She lives in New York City.
 
Published September 16, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 446 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Critic reviews for Anne Frank
All: 19 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 11

Kirkus

Above average
on Jun 24 2015

Prose also blasts the infrahuman Holocaust deniers and ends with some fairly perfunctory, even ordinary thoughts about teaching the book. A graceful tribute and a touching act of gratitude.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by JOSHUA HAMMER on Oct 08 2009

The best part of Prose’s book is her consideration of Frank’s divisive legacy. She meets educators at the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam who have used the diary to promote reconciliation in Argentina and Ukraine — with mixed results. She also retells the fascinating story of the Broadway adaptation...

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Sep 30 2009

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.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Anne Karpf on Aug 20 2010

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.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Anne Karpf on Aug 20 2010

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.

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Blog Critics

Below average
Reviewed by Jack Goodstein on Mar 02 2010

Lovers of Anne Frank’s diary will find in Prose’s book a useful companion filled with critical insight and a fund of information. For the casual reader, it may be a case of more information than you really wanted.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Jack Goodstein on Mar 02 2010

Lovers of Anne Frank’s diary will find in Prose’s book a useful companion filled with critical insight and a fund of information. For the casual reader, it may be a case of more information than you really wanted.

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LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by David L. Ulin on Oct 09 2009

The notion of consciousness permeates "Anne Frank," pushing us to rethink both the diary and what it means. There's no criticism, Prose argues, in calling Frank's book crafted; if anything, the opposite is true.

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The Washington Post

Above average
Reviewed by Alvin H. Rosenfeld on Nov 08 2009

...however one may weigh Prose's high regard for the diary's literary merits, nothing she presents in her own pages supports her description of the book as a seminal text about "the Nazi genocide." In fact, such references hardly appear in the diary...Nevertheless, this is a compelling story...

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The Independent

Below average
Reviewed by CAROLE ANGIER on Jul 30 2010

We all need hope, as Anne Frank knew, but Prose has just spent 270 pages deploring the need for a sentimental version, torn (to quote Ozick) out of its bed of thorns. Then she succumbs to the same need herself. Physician, heal thyself.

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The Telegraph

Below average
Reviewed by Frances Wilson on Jul 30 2010

Prose is right to argue that Anne Frank produced a work of genius, but her own book, while being worthy and well researched, is a work of prose.

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Christian Science Monitor

Good
Reviewed by Jina Moore on Dec 15 2009

It’s in weaving together the multiple accounts of Anne Frank, from Frank’s own hand and others, that Prose manages to make her emerge as a person we somehow missed before.

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Oregon Live

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth Lopeman on Oct 10 2009

...Francine Prose deepens our understanding of Anne as an inspired writer and a remarkably self-possessed artist, rather than simply a young teenage girl whose diary was found and published by accident. In fact, Anne Frank diligently revised the diary with serious attention to word choice and structure.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Above average
Reviewed by Steve King on Oct 05 2012

In her Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife (2009), Francine Prose follows the controversy surrounding the Broadway play and other attempts to adapt/exploit either Frank or her diary. Prose also demonstrates, through classroom and reader testimonials, how Anne’s story continues to inspire.

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Globe and Mail

Below average
Reviewed by Ira Nadel on Feb 18 2014

While Prose's retelling is useful, there is little new, except perhaps the idea that Anne herself carefully revised the text with the hope of publication. But Prose's account relies too much on speculation.

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Independent.ie

Good
Reviewed by Carole Angiers on Jul 08 2010

All this is worth reading: especially Prose's spirited defence of Otto...it is one of the best things about this book that it reminds us of that, in its portrait of Miep, the other helpers, and Otto.

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Chicago Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Lizzie Skurnick on Oct 06 2009

...she herself is unable herself to escape the charge she often levels at other readers...As a writer, Prose admires Anne’s skills, but as a reader, she too is seduced, unable to look at Anne’s book without seeing its implications for the entire world.

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MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Eleanor Bukowsky on Oct 01 2009

Francine Prose is to be admired for sharing her well-researched conclusions with us, but her book would have been more cohesive and readable had she not strayed so far afield from her main thesis.

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The Jewish Chronicle

Below average
Reviewed by Jonathan Beckma on Feb 18 2011

Prose concisely sketches the transformations that the diary underwent - and the arguments endured - in its adaptation for stage and screen. But this is familiar ground. While Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife is a useful and comprehensive introduction for students, it offers little to the reader already familiar with Anne and her diary.

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Reader Rating for Anne Frank
80%

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