Translated by Susan Massotty
Edited by Gerrold Van Der Stroom and Susan Massotty
Bantam Books, 2003 (portions published previously in other versions)
Paperback, 192 p.
(Book #22 for 2007)
Hiding from the Nazis in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building in Amsterdam, a thirteen-year-old girl named Anne Frank became a writer. The now famous diary of her private life and thoughts reveals only part of Anne’s story, however. This book rounds out the portrait of this remarkable and talented young author.Having recently read her diary I was curious to read this short collection of her lesser-known writings. She mentions some of these stories in her diary so it was interesting to read them here. Some of the stories were simply re-tellings of events that are included in the Definitive Edition of her Diary. Many of the others were strongly influenced by the people and daily life in the annex, as well as her life before going into hiding, and it’s perhaps blasphemous to say so but it got a bit repetitious after awhile, especially her recurring nature theme. Still, many of the stories were charming and imaginative and considering how old she was when she wrote them, she had the potential to become a talented writer. It’s such a shame she never had the chance.
Newly translated, complete, and restored to the original order in which Anne herself wrote them in her notebook, Tales from the Secret Annex is a collection of Anne Frank’s lesser-known writings: short stories, fables, personal reminiscences, and an unfinished novel, Cady’s Life.