A few weeks ago I asked you all about your thoughts on books that reinvent some of your favorite characters, like Shakespeare’s Juliet. So when I read in the Guardian about a recent dispute centered around Sharon Dogar’s book Annexed, a novel that fictionalizes Anne Frank and, as the article put it, “should probably bear the subtitle of Peter van Pel’s Imaginary Diary,” I thought I would bring this to a blog vote as well.
Meg Rosoff makes the point that Anne Frank’s trust has every right to be upset (and says that is, in effect, what they’re supposed to do). She points out, however, that writers should be allowed to write whatever they like so long as they do it well, though she herself doesn’t approve of what Dogar is doing. I, too, feel uncomfortable with the notion of Frank being used this way. As someone who’s read and enjoyed one or two Philippa Gregory novels though, I wonder if this reaction is due more to who the fictional character is based on.
So now I turn to you for your opinion: Has Dogar done something wrong, or does she have the right to use Anne Frank’s history and make it her own?