WINNER OF THE 2012 MILES FRANKLIN AWARD
When Hitler comes to power in 1933, a tight-knit group of friends and lovers become hunted outlaws overnight. United in their resistance to the madness and tyranny of Nazism, they flee the country. Dora, passionate and fearless; her lover, the greate playwright Ernst Toller; her younger cousin Ruth and Ruth's husband Hans find refuge in London. Here they take awe-inspiring risks in order to continue their work in secret. But England is not the safe-haven they think it is, and a single, chilling act of betrayal will tear them apart.
Some seventy years later, Ruth is living out her days is Sydney, making an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past, and a part of history that has all but been forgotten.
'A gripping story of love and betrayal. Dora is the most attractive fictional heroine in a long time.' New Statesman
'[Funder's] political and moral intelligence shine even more brightly than in Stasiland; the compassionate but unsentimental truthfulness towards her characters even more moving for being interwoven into a narrative of such complexity.' Raimond Gaita, Books of the Year, The Weekend Australian
'A sweeping first novel that cover love and war, friendship and betrayal, and the bonds that define a life. It is a moving and ambitious work.' Ann Patchett
'Spellbinding. There are echoes of the best espionage tales.' Sunday Telegraph
Funder follows the success of Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall with a debut novel reconstructed from fossil fragments, much as you might draw skin and feathers over an assembly of dinosaur bones, to fully see the beast. Ruth Becker glimpses that beast outside her Berlin apartment in 1933, as her showy journalist husband, Hans, makes mojitos on the day that Hitler is appointed chancellor of Germany. The heart of the novel, however, belongs to Ruth s cousin Dora Fabian, leftist agitator, doomed idealist, and soul mate of playwright Ernst Toller. Ruth helps Dora hide Ernst s writings as the Reichstag burns, and she flees with Hans the next day after being questioned about her Communist affiliations. Outside Germany, she works tirelessly for the cause, bringing Nazi preparations for war to the attention of the British. But her relationship with Hans, whose secret activities endanger everyone, crumbles. As the Holocaust begins, Ernst, in New York, relates Dora s role in his life to a typist whose document reaches Ruth in Australia almost 60 years later. By alternating between Ernst and Ruth, Funder leaps through time with alacrity. She adds an integral perspective on a shopworn subject by invoking the lives of Nazi dissidents whose attempts to alert the world to the growing menace were ignored until it was too late.
Customer ReviewsSee All
All that I am
Best book I've read in a long time.
One of the best books i have ever read. It stays with you for a long time after. I was very emotional afterwards. I loved it
All That I Am
Despite the number of books written about the Second World War and the knowledge that our protagonists must, inevitably ,fail in their endeavours, this book captivates and holds the reader tightly from the opening paragraph until the gentle ,insightful end.
The prose is rich without self-indulgence.
Anna Funder is to be congratulated.