W&N secures new Anne Frank title


17.09.10 | Graeme Neill

Recently discovered ­letters, documents and photographs of Anne Frank and her family will form the basis of a new book acquired by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Editor-in-chief Michael Dover bought British Commonwealth rights, except Canada, from Marc Koralnik at the Liepman agency to Treasures from the Attic by Mirjam Pressler. The book will be published in November and will also include letters from Anne Frank’s father when he was held in Auschwitz as well as his descriptions of the search for his family after the Second World War and his discovery of Anne’s diaries.

W&N said it was planning a “major” serialisation and publicity campaign. The publisher will bring over the author as well as the last living cousin of Anne Frank, who discovered the new material in the attic of the Frank family home.

Dover said: “I was determined to acquire this so that the many readers of the diaries and the hundreds of thousands who visit the Anne Frank Museum every year, can share this new view of Anne.

“Treasures from the Attic reads like a novel: it’s an epic, fateful, family saga, and tells the full story of Anne’s family both before, during and after the war. It contrasts the normality of family life with the horrors of persecution, deportation and the concentration camps. And through it we gain new insight into Anne and her iconic diary. It’s one of those unique documents that portrays innocence and humanity, suffering and survival in the starkest and most moving terms.”

Pressler was the editor of the retranslated and enlarged edition of the 1997 edition of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, which spent nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Anne Frank lived in Amsterdam before going into hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in 1940. She was transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1942 and died of typhus, along with her sister Margot, in 1945.

Her father Otto was the only survivor of the family. He returned to Amsterdam to be given Anne’s diary, which had been saved. It was first published in 1947 and published in English as The Diary of a Young Girl in 1952. According to figures from Nielsen BookScan, The Diary of a Young Girl has sold 532,028 copies over the past 10 years with sales worth £3.34m.

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