The Most Famous Diary in the World Goes Interactive

In What's the Buzz by Edward Nawotka

By Publishing Perspectives

With more than 31 million copies sold in 67 languages, The Diary of a Young Girl(best known as The Diary of Anne Frank), is often said to be the most widely read book in the world outside of the Bible. Anne Frank herself has come to stand not only for the victims of the Holocaust, but also for resilience and optimism of the human spirit. She famously wrote in her diary on July 15, 1944: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are good at heart.” This was written just weeks before she and her family were betrayed and arrested.

On October 18, sixty-seven years after her death — just three weeks shy of her 16th birthday — from typhus and malnutrition in Bergen-Belsen, her diary is being published as an interactive app by Viking, Penguin, and TradeMobile. With it, readers will be able to explore Anne’s world, to see what it looked like, what it sounded like, and what it felt like to live in hiding. With the touch of a button, the original manuscript pages of Anne’s diary will appear, giving readers access to Anne’s sketches, scribblers and notes. Readers will also be able to hear Helena Bonham Carter reading Anne’s diary entries, watch videos of those who secretly helped Anne and her family to survive nearly two years of hiding in the “secret annex,” and listen to original radio broadcasts, enabling the reader to experience history through Anne.

The app has been approved and authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation, founded in 1957 by Otto Frank, the sole member of the family to survive the concentration camps. Venetia Butterfield, Viking Publishing Director, said in a statement, “Seventy years since Anne began her diary, it remains one of the most beloved books of all time. With the support of the Anne Frank Foundation we are privileged to bring her story to readers in such an inspiring and sympathetic way.”

Jen Porter, founder of TradeMobile, added, “It is an honour for us to have been entrusted with bringing such an important text to life and we hope that readers’ experiences of Anne’s story are enriched by what they see and hear. At any time, readers can go beyond the words on the page and truly immerse themselves in Anne’s world through audio, video, images and animation that is contextually relevant to where they are in the story.”

A trailer for the app, featuring audio extracts read by Helena Bonham Carter, is available here.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.