little-known stories

All That I Am is largely about the life of Dora Fabian, told from the perspectives of her cousin Ruth, and playwright Ernst Toller (with whom Dora had close relations). The main story takes place between the end of WWI and the start of WWII.

Dora, Ruth, Ernst, and many of their friends and associates flee Germany after Hitler comes to power. In the time that follows, they learn, by various sources, how Hitler is preparing for war with the rest of Europe. However, their refugee status in England prevents them from legally participating in political activism, and their exile from Germany means any anti-Nazi activity could put their lives at risk.

Still, they find ways, and they do what they can to disseminate information.  Continue reading

backstory

On the week-end I finished reading All That I Am, by Anna Funder. The same friend who had previously lent me copies of The Narrow Road to the Deep North and All Quiet on the Western Front also once told me that ATIA was one of her most favourite novels written in recent times (as opposed to classics or novels written and published decades ago).

It was probably about three years ago that she told me this. I wrote the name of the book down on a bit of scrap paper (we were at work at the time), and fully intended to read it. I can’t remember why she never lent me a copy of ATIA (too precious?) but I set out to find it in book stores. I don’t think I’d heard of it before, but apparently it was a number-one bestseller at some point.  Continue reading

knives and daggers

There’s a particular scene from The Grapes of Wrath that has stayed with me longer than I could have expected it to (although I’m also not surprised that it has). I can remember parts of the novel if I stop and think about it, but this one part pops into my mind of its own accord. [Warning: spoilers in the next paragraph.]  Continue reading

Thursday Doors: home again

Since I shared Melbourne photos in my last Thursday Doors post, I felt like doing some Brisbane photos this time – two doors from immediately after my trip, and immediately before it.

When I came home from my trip, I attended a pharmacy conference, which was held in the function rooms of the Rydges Hotel. Funnily enough, very few conference attendees seemed to be staying at the hotel, since it was rather expensive, even with a conference discount…  Continue reading