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Powers we pretend to understand: Anna Funder’s All That I Am
“When Hitler came to power I was in the bath.” The sentence shocks with its indulgence - the bather’s husband is in the kitchen crushing limes for mojitos - as it conjures the vulnerability of naked flesh against the army of jackboots that are about to descend upon Europe.
Sydney Review of Books: The Brain Feign
A discussion about the act of reviewing books. About one third down, this article explores All That I Am: "In 2012 the Miles Franklin award went to Anna Funder’s All That I Am. It is the author’s first novel, but her name had been established by the non-fiction hit Stasiland (2003). To have claimed a prize of such stature would suggest that the novel had weathered a robust critical reception. A failure of criticism would be a great disservice to the public, allowing material of uncertain quality to masquerade as significant work."
Review: All That I Am by Anna Funder - The Guardian
Anna Funder's story of dissidents in Nazi-era Germany deals with themes of freedom and betrayal.
Celebrating courage - The Sydney Morning Herald
All That I Am is It is set in the long lead-up to World War II, when the world approved of Hitler but people such as her heroines, Ruth Becker and Dora Fabian, saw with horrified clarity what he intended to do. They were like swimmers caught in a rip, arms waving furiously as people looked the other way.
Q&A with Anna Funder, author of All That I Am - Readings
Jo Case interviews Australian writer Anna Funder, of Stasiland fame, about her first foray into fiction - All That I Am.
Video: All That I Am - Anna Funder
Video: Anna Funder in Conversation about All That I Am - at the Syndey Writer's Festival
Books available in the LRC
All That I Am by
Ruth Becker, defiant and cantankerous, is living out her days in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. She has made an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past - and a part of history that has been all but forgotten. Another lifetime away, it's 1939 and the world is going to war. Ernst Toller, self-doubting revolutionary and poet, sits in a New York hotel room settling up the account of his life. When Toller's story arrives on Ruth's doorstep their shared past slips under her defences, and she's right back among them - those friends who predicted the brutality of the Nazis and gave everything they had to stop them. Those who were tested - and in some cases found wanting - in the face of hatred, of art, of love, and of history.
Truth can be stranger - and more fascinating - than fiction. Anna Funder tells extraordinary stories from the underbelly of the most perfected surveillance state of all time, the former East Germany. Funder meets Miriam, the sixteen-year-old who might have started World War III. She visits the regime's cartographer, obsessed to this day with the Berlin Wall, then gets drunk with the legendary 'Mik Jegger' of the east, once declared by the authorities 'no longer to exist'. And she finds spies and Stasi men, still loyal to the Firm as they wait for the next revolution. Stasilandis a lyrical, at times funny account of the courage some people found to withstand the dictatorship, and the consequences for those who collaborated. Funder explores the daily chaos and harsh beauty of Berlin, a place where some people are trying to remember, and others just as hard to forget. Stasilandis a brilliant debut by a prodigiously gifted writer.