Author Hilderbrand removes Anne Frank passage from novel after criticism

Online readers had complained main character offhandedly comparing herself to Dutch Jewish girl was insensitive

American author Elin Hilderbrand in June 2021 (CBS video screenshot)
American author Elin Hilderbrand in June 2021 (CBS video screenshot)

NEW YORK — Elin Hilderbrand has asked that a reference to Anne Frank in her new novel be taken out after numerous online readers alleged the passage was insensitive.

“In a flashback scene in Elin Hilderbrand’s novel ‘Golden Girl,’ the main character Vivi compares herself to Anne Frank,” publisher, Little, Brown and Company, announced Friday. “We are removing this passage from the digital edition of the book immediately, and from all future print editions.”

In “Golden Girl,” Vivi and her friend Savannah are talking about staying in the attic of Savannah’s home and whether Savannah’s parents would approve.

“You’re suggesting I hide here all summer?” Vivi says, then cites the Dutch Jewish girl who with her family hid in an Amsterdam attic from the Nazis but was eventually captured and died in a concentration camp. “Like… like Anne Frank?”

Hilderbrand is known for such bestsellers as “The Identicals” and “Summer of ’69,” in which one character is reading “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Responding to complaints about “Golden Girl” on Instagram, Hildebrand wrote that she had made a “poor choice, that was tasteless and offensive.”

She added: “Those of you who have read Summer of ’69 will realize Anne Frank was a courageous young woman whom I revere, and her story remains deeply influential in my life.”

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