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Anne Frank's Tales From The Secret Annex

Anne Frank's Tales From The Secret Annex

Anne Frank's Tales From The Secret Annex, Cassell Reference, $27.99

The posthumously published diary of Anne Frank is world famous; 40 million copies published in 70 languages, ranking the inner thoughts of the 13-year-old Jewish chatterbox and would-be journalist, kept in captivity with her family during Nazi occupation of Amsterdam.

What this latest collection of "daydreams", fables and an unfinished novel (written at the same time as the diary, but out of print for many years) adds, is a wistful window onto the world outside "Villa Annexe" — as the ever cheerful Anne dubbed the rooms above her father's offices, where evening black-out and the ritual grind of Sundays became almost unbearable — as seen through Anne's hopeful eyes.

In her essay The Battle of the Potatoes, Anne counts her blessings — "In a labour camp you have to do a whole lot more than peel potatoes…" while in her short story The Caretaker's Family (who ignore the blackout) she dreams of the mother "…who doesn't want to hear the ack-ack guns, so … she sits in the shower and listens to her loudest jazz record."

In her unfinished novel Cady's Life, convalescing Cady, bedridden in hospital as war is declared, debates immense subjects of parental love and trust, of equality and cruelty — just as Anne did from her cramped attic.

Anne Frank and her elder sister Margot both died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945.

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