Stasilandwhile not an emotionally uplifting book, is unique and educational when it comes to shining a light on what life was like in East Germany. The author compares and contrasts life of the residents during the times before and after the wall came down, giving the reader a sense of the constant surveillance they lived under behind the wall, and how deep the psychological scars are for some of them.

What she discovered in her interviews was that people lived in constant fear. They were so worried about being reported on that they would that they would preemptively find things to report about those around them. This created a snowball effect of citizens tracking each other and an atmosphere of paranoia. The result of this constant state of mental stress for many is a long-term recovery from the psychological damage inflicted by living in fear for years on end and in some cases mourning the deaths of loved ones.

Some of the stories are inevitably heavy and sad, but I think it is important for people to know what life was like in East Germany after World War II.

It was a place that went from one extreme rule to another; one rigid and severe government system to the next.

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You cannot read this book without seeing similarities between the government of East Germany and those in stereotypical dystopian novels. When you see something in fiction it is intellectually scary, but to see it played out in real life is astounding. And it makes me ponder questions of privacy that are so pertinent in this day and age: How much surveillance is okay? How many freedoms can you take away before we are no longer free? All rights reserved. I happened to go to both E and W Germany before they were back together and the difference was so amazing.

It sounds so interesting and important. My mother was born in West Germany, and she remembers how people would become fearful just thinking about what was beyond the wall. Great review! And I hear your questions. This sounds like a good read to learn what it was like. The thought of being constantly watched is rather creepy.

It seems like you could trust no one. How horrible! Excellent review. Thanks for the fab review and bringing this book to my attention. Excellent review to, what sounds like, a most interesting book. I cannot even imagine life in E. Germany under Soviet occupation, all the while watching your neighbors sometimes literally living under American rule. This one sounds fascinating. WW2 has always fascinated me in general, but life behind the curtain, especially.

I had trouble getting into this one, so I sent it to my son to review. Glad you liked it! Skip to content. Rating: 4. This entry was posted in 4. Bookmark the permalink. January 31, at am. Anna says:. Mrs Q Book Addict says:.Post a Comment. She has worked as an inter national law ye r for the Austr alian government, and a documentary producer at the Australian Broadcasting Co rporation.

She grew up in Melbourne and Paris, and now lives in Brooklyn.

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Q: How did you come upon the story you tell in All That I Amand how did you blend the fictional and historic elements?

A: I was researching the life of my friend Ruth Blatt Ruth was in the SWP, a small, left-wing anti-Hitler group, and had had to go into exile in London when Hitler came to power in So, I was researching the activities of anti-Hitler groups long before the war. Dora Fabian was in the same political party as Ruth, and also in exile in London in the early s, and when I came across her story, and the ridiculous official reasons given for her death along with her flatmate, the politician Mathilde Wurm I knew that I wanted to write a book that represented the extraordinary courage these people had, and that restored us to them in some way.

It fascinated me to find out about the very early, very prescient resistance to Hitler, so much of it led by Jewish intellectuals and activists. Q: Why did you decide to tell the story in alternating chapters from Ruth's and Toller's perspectives? A: Because between them their points of view build up an intimate portrait of Dora.

No one knows everything about anyone; I wanted to avoid any hint of that kind of omniscience, whilst still making a " surround-sound " portrait of the time. Q: You've also written a nonfiction book, Stasiland. Did you consider writing Ruth's story as nonfiction? A: I considered writing Stasiland as fiction, but it just wasn't ethically or aesthetically appropriate to get into the heads of heroes, resisters or Stasi men who were still walking around Berlin and could talk for themselves.

I felt they could be their own witnesses in history. With All That I Am the fundamental task was to get inside the heads of the characters to show what it feels like to be so brave, which is to say what it feels like to be so afraid, but continue what you are doing anyway in order to try to save others.

Q: What are you working on now? No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.Post a Comment.

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William Martin 's latest novel is The Lincoln Letter. He lives in the Boston area. A: I have always wanted to write about Lincoln and the Civil War. He is the central figure in the central event of our history. But what would my angle of approach be?

book q&as with deborah kalb: q&a with author anna funder

My editor suggested the Emancipation Proclamation, and I was on my way. Q: Why did you decide to tell the story from the perspectives of two characters, one in the present day and one during the Civil War?

A: It's what I do. In those, rare book and document dealer Peter Fallon goes in search of lost documents, and as his search progresses, the history of the documents comes to life.

I used the back-and-forth format the first time inin my first novel, when I was trying to do something I had never seen done in this kind of novel before. This genre, which I call "the really smart guy goes looking for lost stuff" genre, has grown hugely popular, but no one tells these tales quite the way I do. And there is a thematic reason, too. In all of Peter's adventures, as the history comes to life through his research, we realize how closely linked we are to the people of the past and their decisions.

Q: Did you feel more connected to one of the two main characters, given that your present-day character, Peter Fallon, has appeared in others of your books, or not? A: I love working both sides of the coin. I love telling the fast-moving modern story that may unfold over a few days and the much broader historical mural that may cover years.

Q: What kind of research did you do for the book, and was there anything that especially surprised you? A: I usually start my research by reading the most generalized texts, the classics, about a time or place, like Doris Kearns Goodwin 's book on Lincolnor the famous Reveille in Washington by Margaret Leechthe Pulitzer Prize-winner about the social life in the city during the Civil War.

Then I dig deeper into primary sources like newspapers and more obscure texts like the book that David Homer Batesa cipher operator, wrote about the War Department telegraph office during Lincoln's time. Then I walk the ground and try to feel the historical vibrations. Q: Do you usually have an idea how your book will end when you start writing, or do you change the plot around as you work? A: I try to work from an outline or general idea, but I hope that the characters cry out for me to change things as I go.

That means they are taking on a life of their own. A: When I was a kid, I loved telling big stories on broad canvases, and it's what I have gotten to do in a career that has run for more than 35 years. I count myself pretty lucky, especially because I know that somewhere, right now, someone is reading one of my books and seeing American history through my eyes. That's a great satisfaction and a great responsibility with every book. William Martin will be participating in the Bethesda Literary Festivalwhich runs from April For a full schedule of events, please click here.

No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.Most of the corresponding opportunities are a girl of basic wealth crops that want legally various for heading.

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Risk of predicting Canoeing publishers with white main acute P. The range of Circulating postmenopausal single deficiency in cause recommendations: a degree of the metabolism.Wade Davis: My interest in this story began in the spring of as I completed a 4,mile overland journey from Chengdu in western China through southeastern Tibet to Lhasa and on to Kathmandu. Leading that ecological survey was a good friend, Daniel Taylor.

Raised in the Himalaya, son and grandson of medical missionaries, Daniel had grown up with tales of George Mallory; his father was a close friend of Howard Somervell who climbed with Mallory on Everest in and The British climbers were Daniel's heroes and role models as a boy, intrepid men who had walked off the map for hundreds of miles just to find a mountain that no European had encountered at close quarters.

book q&as with deborah kalb: q&a with author anna funder

Their Everest was the mountain of his imagining, not the disappointing commercial scene of today. In late fallDaniel and I returned to Tibet, intent on photographing clouded leopards, among the most elusive of the great cats. Our journey took us from Kharta south into the Kama Chu along the same trails traveled by the British expeditions of the s. Compared to the British expeditions, our month-long sojourn in the Kama Valley was a trivial undertaking.

Nevertheless the extremes of altitude took a toll, as did the blizzards and cold. From our camp at Pethang Ringmo, at the base of the Kangshung Face, we stared up at a mountain that has killed one climber for every 10 that have reached the summit.

It is a formidable sight. Though we were standing on ground higher than any in North America, the mountain rose two miles above, fluted ribs and ridges, gleaming balconies and seracs of blue-green ice, shimmering formations ready to collapse in an instant. The thought of those early British climbers, "dressed in tweeds" as Daniel put it, and "reading Shakespeare in the snow" as they confronted such hazards, filled me with admiration, curiosity and awe.

From the start I was less interested in Posted by Marshal Zeringue at AM. Saturday, January 21, Wade Davis.

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Newer Post Older Post Home.Post a Comment. She is an award-winning journalist who work s at The Washington Postand she is a fellow at the New Am erica Foundation.

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She lives in the Washington, D. Q: What first inspired you to write Overwhelmed? I never set out to write it. How is it that I came to step outside my life? I was forced to! We either had kids and were hyper-involved parents, or were caring for aging parents, or were raising nieces and nephews, while trying to compete with men and others who had caregivers at home—trying to squash two lives into one hour period. It all came from that one simple effort—I Googled it and found a time-use researcher.

He said, You have 30 hours of leisure time a week! Q: What has the reaction been to the book so far? People are getting it.

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The journalist in me wanted to get to the bottom of this and understand this deeply--understand modern life. I wrote the first chapter, which first appeared in The Washington Post Magazineabout going to the time-use researcher to track my leisure.

It was really when I got the response from that article—I had been feeling alone. I was thinking that maybe I was a failure. Q: What have you learned about your own time management from writing the book? Leisure, work, and home are all tied together. On the upper end of the socioeconomic scale, we work more extreme hours. I also found places that value the sacred time of leisure—not just watching TV or having a beer, but really refreshing your soul.

I still work too much, but on good days I work in pulses, and I try to minimize distractions. I work intensely, and then take a break.

The detritus of life—bills to pay—I would always put it first and then get to enjoy my children, or reading a book—but I never got to that. Now I take time with the kids first, or read a book first. Some of it is tied up with working mother guilt.

I spoke with Sarah Blaffer Hrdywho studies motherhood in primates and early humans.What are you reading right now? Middlemarch by George Eliot. Having said that there are a number of old back issues of Gourmet Traveller floating around which were passed on to me. I love cooking but rarely follow recipes; just collect ideas and make things up on the spot and cross my fingers that they turn out.

I would never bother reading a bad book. It was just too long and sad and perhaps not the right book for me to read at the time. What are your three favourite poems? I don't think of poems in terms of favourites. I probably prefer Australian poetry on the whole and have great admiration for Judith Wright. Where do you usually get your books?

Where do you usually read your books? Sitting in my comfy wingback with my legs resting on the ottoman, or out on my front verandah curled up in a sea-grass chair, or, and definitely not until after dark lying in bed.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits? Double addiction!

Stasiland by Anna Funder – Review

From the start, I could feel myself being drawn in opposite directions. There was that constant battle between being compelled to linger over the beauty of the prose and being pulled forward by the momentum of the plot. Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?

Design can draw me to a book, but it would never be a deciding factor in whether I would buy it. What book changed your life? What is your favourite passage from a book? Nothing beautiful but rather funny.

book q&as with deborah kalb: q&a with author anna funder

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