Media

Press

‘A brilliant narrative… Every part is beautifully rendered and balanced… it works as a gripping spy novel… Funder’s prose, however, raises the book to a different level… The language is assured and precise, the syntax richly expressive… Funder has written a superb novel that transcends its setting. It is not just a book about German political exiles in London. It is a novel about confronting grievous loss, and the horror of realising, as history closes over you, that you will never be understood…This book is a wonder. Do, please, read it.’
— John de Falbe, Spectator

‘With all the excitement of a thriller, an absorbing study of exile, courage and memory’
— John Gray, Evening Standard Best Books of the Year

‘Spellbinding. There are echoes of the best espionage tales’
Sunday Telegraph

‘A gripping story of love and betrayal. Dora is the most attractive fictional heroine in a long time’
— Kasia Boddy, New Statesman
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‘A seamless and powerful tale… a novel challenging the frontiers between historical fact and the creative imagination… Funder has successfully transformed the material into a narrative of individual endeavor and survival, which examines universal themes. Above all, this is a book with a strong moral compass… Dora and Ruth, especially, convey a sense of truthfulness and decency that transcends their time and should inspire us, even now, to expose injustice and tyranny.’
— Rachel Hore, Independent on Sunday
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‘The strengths of Funder’s writing are emotional and imaginative. In what she has to say about love, loss and betrayal there is profound truth.’
— Ian Brunskill, Times

‘A strong and impressively humane novel… The subtlety of Anna Funder’s novel is in the elegance of her precise prose, and in her painstaking portrait of an ordinary woman swept up in extraordinary events… ALL THAT I AM combines a wealth of archival research and historical scholarship with an imaginative freedom to inhabit or revivify other people’s lives… This is a novel full of strong characters and dramatic historical events.’
— Ruth Scurr, Times Literary Supplement
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‘In this novel, Anna Funder… helps us to remember things that might have been forgotten. It is, specifically, the story of a group of German refugees from the growing menace of Nazism: a story of courage and betrayal, and, quietly, that of Funder’s own dedication and perseverance.’
— Nicholas Lezard, Evening Standard

‘Funder really does write beautifully.’
Sunday Times

‘A pacy and exciting read. Captures perfectly the sense of her characters’ deprived and dangerous lives.’
Daily Mail

‘A remarkable story told with clarity and precision, along with moments of insight and literary grace.’
Guardian

‘A murder mystery now more than three generations old becomes a catalyst for a deeper, richer story about two perennial but inexhaustible themes, love and loyalty. Rarely has a novel been filled with such intelligent, inquisitive, introspective characters. More rarely still has the fungible, malleable quality of recollections been so beautifully revealed.’
Canberra Times

‘Funder is brilliant… ALL THAT I AM is, unquestionably, about people and issues that matter. It is provocative, imaginative, sometimes fierce and always humane.’
Brisbane Times

‘Assured and poised… A genuinely moving novel, which challenges the reader’s perception and judgement at the same time as it works as a political and historical thriller… It’s not just the potential of the consequences of anybody’s actions that is so riveting: it’s the contest between courage and cowardice, risk and safety, loyalty and betrayal, in a world of increasing terror.’
— David Gaunt, Bookseller & Publisher

‘A ripper.’
— Stephen Romei, The Australian

‘Remarkably assured… Despite its focus on the past, the most troubling lessons of this astute work are relevant today.’
— John Bailey, Sunday Age

‘A beautifully executed blend of historical fiction and psychological thriller.’
— Jo Case, Australian Book Review

‘An exceptional meditation on politics, loss and memory.’
— Justine Douglas, readings.com.au

‘Confirms her reputation as a bright, quick and brave writer… Wonderful.’
The Week

‘Superb… Funder writes beautifully, with an understated lyricism that never gets in the way of the gripping story. Deeply moving and highly readable, All That I Am is a tender and worthy tribute to the brave old woman who inspired it.’
— Anna Carey, The Irish Times
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‘A stirring and stunning examination of bravery, betrayal and how making peace with the past doesn’t necessarily end its impact. In a word: powerful.’
— Michael Jacobson, Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

‘Fascinating… brilliantly written.’
— Jean Ferguson, Illawarra Mercury

‘Doing nothing, acting courageously, advancing evil: each is rehearsed thoroughly in All That I Am, a novel that dares to look at the moral choices that create all that we are.’
— Stephanie Dowrick, Sydney Morning Herald
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‘That Funder has a terrific way with words has never been in doubt and certainly lends an air of anticipation to this, her first novel.’
— John Bailey, Sydney Morning Herald
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‘Given the striking intelligence and originality that Anna Funder brought to the subject of the East German Secret Police in her award-winning Stasiland, it comes as no surprise to find her first novel All that I Am so assured and poised.’
Australian Bookseller & Publisher
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‘All That I Am is based an actual group of left-wing, predominantly Jewish German activists, at the centre of which are Ruth Wesemann (also referred to as Ruth Becker and Ruth Blatt, depending on where you choose to draw the boundaries between character and historical figure); her husband Hans; her cousin Dora Fabian; and Dora’s lover, the playwright Ernst Toller.’
— Lucy Scholes, The Independent
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‘Almost ten years on, Funder has returned with All That I Am, a powerful and patient work of fact-based historical fiction that again explores the insidious reach of a totalitarian German state and the moral fortitude and frailty of those it meant to control.’
— David Sornig, The Adelaide Review
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‘Once in a while a novel comes along that rocks your world.’
— Betsy Burton, The King’s English Bookshop Blog
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Watch

Miles Franklin Acceptance Speech 2012


Anna in Conversation at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, The Monthly, Slow TV


Anna in Conversation with Carol George, Off the Page, Penguin Books


Anna in Conversation with Jennifer Arul, NDTV India — Part 1


Anna in Conversation with Jennifer Arul, NDTV India — Part 2


Anna in Conversation with Jennifer Arul, NDTV India — Part 3


Live nationwide on Q&A
View more

Listen

Anna Funder on BBC’s Woman’s Hour
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BBC’s ‘The Strand’
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BBC’s ‘The Weekend Strand’
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‘All That I Am’ Audiobook read by Judy Bennett and Saul Reichlin
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ABC Radio Eye, ‘A Contrary Woman – The Story of Ruth Blatt’
Anna speaks with Ruth Blatt, the inspiration for Ruth Becker of ‘All That I Am’. Made from interviews conducted with her friend in 1995, this program has been rebroadcast numerous times on the ABC since it was made in 2001.
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Read

‘What does it mean to be a writer? It means you try to represent what it is to be alive.’
FT, Small Talk
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— Arifa Akbar, One Minute with

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‘The author chooses five of the best memoirs by other writers.’
— The Telegraph, My Best Memoirs
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‘The Stasiland writer on her latest book, ALL THAT I AM and the extraodinary history of German socialist exiles in wartime Britain.’
— Jonathan Derbyshire, The New Statesman
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‘We sit at her kitchen table and she tells me about her new book, ALL THAT I AM, which returns to Germany but to an earlier time. 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.’
— Catherine Kennan, Sydney Morning Herald
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‘In spring 1935, two women were found dead in an attic flat in Bloomsbury. Both were German refugees, among the first to flee from Hitler, active in the fledgling resistance movement. A coroner recorded two verdicts of suicide, but many suspect foul play. The file relating to their deaths has now been lost. That’s a gem of a starting point for a novelist, but Anna Funder didn’t begin here.’
The Scotsman
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‘People assume that with fiction, you stretch credulity to its limits. In my experience the reverse is true: you are constantly reining it in to maintain credibility. With Stasiland I didn’t want to rein in the facts, I wanted to explore them. This novel is aiming at something completely different. This is about representing consciousness from the inside; it’s about being inside Ruth’s and Toller’s heads.’
— David Mattin, The National
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‘Based on the real life experiences of Funder’s friend Ruth Blatt, the novel, Funder explains in the afterword, is what she has “made” of Ruth and her friends’ stories: “It is reconstructed from fossil fragments, much as you might draw skin and feathers over an assembly of dinosaur bones, to fully see the beast”.’
— Lucy Scholes, Untitled Books
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‘Anna Funder is an internationally acclaimed bestselling Australian author whose debut Stasiland recounted the personal stories of people who worked for the East German secret police, and those whose lives were affected and even destroyed by their covert activities.’
— Boris Kelly, Overland
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‘The idea of choosing not to witness – and the moral responsibilities that carries – is central to the book. There are characters who don’t see things they don’t want to know about those closest to them.’
— Interview by Jo Case, Readings
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‘It is one of those early autumn days when the sun is low in the sky, sending long shadows across the street to where Anna Funder, the winner of the 2004 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction now turned novelist, is standing staring up at the top windows of a well-appointed, four-storied Georgian town house. We are in Bloomsbury and I am talking about property prices.’
— Toby Clements, The Telegraph, A Page in the Life
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‘So it was clear to me from the age of 6 that language is a magic curtain, and that you can express yourself differently depending on which language you use. I was mad about words from then.’
— John Purcell, Booktopia, Ten Terrifying Questions
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‘Anna Funder was in India for the Hay Festival in Kerala.’
The Times of India
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‘The émigré world has its secret agents and double-dealers, giving “All That I Am,” at times, the suspense and dread of a literary thriller. But most of all, it is a group portrait of exile and angst at a time of world-historical dislocation.’
— Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal, In Brief
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