Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Anna Funder

Born in 1966, Anna Funder is an Australian writer who grew up in Melbourne. She worked as an international lawyer and in public relations for a German overseas television service in Berlin. Her first book, Stasiland, won the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction in the United Kingdom.

Funder's new novel is All That I Am.

From her Q & A with Arifa Akbar at the Independent:

Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him

I'm obsessed with Tolstoy at the moment. The problem with reading 'Anna Karenina' is that everything else just pales. To be so rapidly and completely inside his characters' minds is incredible.
* * *

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I don't think I'm like him but I like [Richard Ford's] Frank Bascombe. I like his tentative, meandering, allusive mind, the gentleness of him, the indecision and the wondering.
* * *

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

The real Dora Fabian [on whom 'All That I Am' is based]. I' m very interested in the people who do the right thing. They deepen our understanding of what it means to be human, they show an extraordinary concern that prompts self-destructively brave behaviour.
Read the complete Q & A.

Anna Funder's Stasiland appears on Steve Kettmann's list of ten of the best books on Germans and Germany.

--Marshal Zeringue