The Washington Post

Nothing fictional about Anne Frank

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I was dismayed and rather annoyed to see Anne Frank’s diary, both as originally published and in its more recent graphic form, referred to as a novel. The Aug. 22 news article “Anne Frank graphic novel, 40 more books pulled from Texas school district” repeatedly referred to the true account of Frank’s plight as a novel.

A novel is defined as “an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events.” Note the word “invented.”

Novels are fiction. Frank’s story is most definitely not. In my 36 years of teaching high school English, I fought the good fight against the misappropr­iation of the term “novel,” but I never expected to see this error in The Post. Words matter. Books matter. Frank’s diary matters.

Francesca Winch, Silver Spring

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