'Anna Funder's utterly compelling first novel All That I Am is about the heroic and largely tragic fate of a small group of left-wing German activists who opposed the rise of Hitler. It centres on two real people: the playwright Ernst Toller (famously eulogized by his friend W H Auden), and one of his associates, Ruth Koplowitz. Ruth was also a friend of Toller, and came to live in Sydney after WW2, where Anna got to know her well in later life. Their lives were tied together by the charismatic, passionate Dora - All That I Am vividly, passionately and irresistibly brings back to life their struggles, their hopes, their fears and their fates.'
Source: Penguin News, 6 October 2010
Lynda Ng reads three Australian works (two historical novels and a fictional biography) to demonstrate 'how contemporary Australian authors reflect the rise of global culture by deepening and broadening Australia's historical timeline. The willingness of these authors to show the indebtedness of Australian culture to that of other nations echoes Wai Chee Dimock's attempts to move American literature beyond its national confines by repositioning it on the scale of a planetary "deep time". Paradoxically, however, in these novels the incorporation of historical events that would not traditionally be regarded as Australian does not diminish the preponderance of Australian nationalism. Rather, it enhances the prestige of the Australian nation by representing it as an active participant in a network of cosmopolitan and transnational cultural flows' [pp. 165-166].