Tuesday, 9 October 2012

All That I Am by Anna Funder

Initially difficult to follow, this story involves a confusing cast of characters: non-Nazi Germans mostly, some Jews during the time of the lead-up to WWII. The story is told, woven back and forward in time by the two main characters: Toller, from a hotel room in New York in 1939, and Ruth, from her old age now in Australia. Once I got the cast clear in my mind, around page 87 of 363 pages the story became riveting reading. All the more so as you can easily imagine how close to fact it is, borne out by the Sources Section at the back of the book.

Well worth reading, let down a little by the lack of clarity at the beginning, but perhaps the author is just over familiar with this period as her previous work is the highly acclaimed "Stasiland". Two quotes which illustrate the authors eye for detail and craft of language: " ....... London was a place where the wind blew litter around red postboxes and the parks were under lock and key." And on the English. The manners ........ fenced off unassailable and pristine areas, like the parks."

About the Author

"Anna Funder is the author of the international bestseller Stasiland, which won the 2004 Samuel Johnson Prize and was published in 20 countries and translated into 16 languages. She is the recipient of numerous awards, and a former DAAD and Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. Anna Funder grew up in Melbourne and Paris and lives in Sydney with her husband and family." ...From the Publisher 

Winner of the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award 


Shortlisted for KOALA Awards 

Check the Catalogue and reserve online
All That I Am by Anna Funder, 2011

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