Translated from the Dutch by Susan Massotty
Edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler
Bantam Books, 345 p.
First published in Dutch, 1947; in English , 1952; The Definitive Edition, 1995.
(Book #17 for 2007; Book #3 for the Banned Book Challenge; Book #1 for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge)
Anne Frank’s extraordinary diary, written in the Amsterdam attic where she and her family hid from the Nazis for two years, has become a world classic and a timeless testament to the human spirit. Now, in a new edition enriched by many passages originally withheld by her father, we meet an Anne more real, more human, and more vital than ever. Here she is first and foremost a teenage girl – stubbornly honest, touchingly vulnerable, in love with life. She imparts her deeply secret world of soul-searching and hungering for affection, rebellious clashes with her mother, romance and newly discovered sexuality, and wry, candid observations of her companions. Facing hunger, fear of discovery and death, and the petty frustrations of such confined quarters, Anne writes with adult wisdom and views beyond her years. Her story is that of every teenager, lived out in conditions few teenagers have ever known.I’m not sure why I’d never read Anne’s diary before, but I’m glad I finally did, especially since we visited the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam a couple of years ago. It’s truly a coming-of-age story, but like the blurb says, one that takes place under extraordinary circumstances. Over the two years spent hiding in the Secret Annex, we see Anne grow up and come to mature realizations about herself and her family. It's also a fascinating, and personal insight into what life was like in hiding, from the frustrating and mundane details of daily life to the terror of being discovered. Of course knowing her fate shadows the diary with sadness that such an optimistic, clever young girl was never given a chance to realize her potential. She did however fulfill her dream of being a writer, sadly posthumously, and being remembered after her death. A very worthwhile read.
"I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!"