• The Great Hall at University House, ANU

    The Great Hall at University House, ANU

  • Alex Sloan and Anna Funder

    Alex Sloan and Anna Funder

  • Graham Tuckwell and Colin Steele

    Graham Tuckwell and Colin Steele

  • Anna Steele and Garth Britton

    Anna Steele and Garth Britton

  • Lena Britton and John Soderbaum

    Lena Britton and John Soderbaum

  • Peter Kanowski and Louise Tuckwell

    Peter Kanowski and Louise Tuckwell

  • Ruby Furnell, Hannah Muller and Caitlin O'Rourke

    Ruby Furnell, Hannah Muller and Caitlin O'Rourke

  • Robyn Singleton, Trish Woods and Daniele Leyder

    Robyn Singleton, Trish Woods and Daniele Leyder

  • Lucy Neave, Rebecca Clode and Kate Mitchell

    Lucy Neave, Rebecca Clode and Kate Mitchell

  • Claudette Bateup and Margaret Tuckwell

    Claudette Bateup and Margaret Tuckwell

  • Sally Paterson and Adrienne Sykes

    Sally Paterson and Adrienne Sykes

  • Mike and Liz Lynch

    Mike and Liz Lynch

  • Katharine Pierce, Maria Green, Penny Cox and Cynthia Brewis

    Katharine Pierce, Maria Green, Penny Cox and Cynthia Brewis

  • Peter Taylor and Lorraine Lawrence

    Peter Taylor and Lorraine Lawrence

  • Kirsten McHugh and John Tinds

    Kirsten McHugh and John Tinds

  • Jeanne Trebeck and Rosanna Hindmarsh

    Jeanne Trebeck and Rosanna Hindmarsh

Anna Funder: Eat, drink and be literary @ ANU

18 February 2016

Anna Funder was a sell- out guest for the ANU’s ‘Eat, drink and be literary’ event at the Great Hall at University House with an audience who know and love her first two books Stasiland and All That I Am, and were ready to pick up the latest publication at the event. Most probably had it read before they finished their night cap as this Penguin Specials novella, The Girl with the Dogs, is one of those precious little books that encapsulates so much in the short form and satisfies the reader’s need for affirmation about the things in life we realise are so precious.

Recently returning to Australia after more than three years living in New York, Funder spoke of her three children adjusting to the differences between Australian schools and American schools and you just know that this will probably be the source of frustration and fun for her kids. My own experiencing that adjusted as soon as they stopped pronouncing batteries with three syllables.

Funder is a quietly spoken lady who writes beautifully, researches extensively and has a knack of keeping it all compelling but controlled. You want to keep reading, you don’t want to lose the tenuous link between you and her characters because she inveigles you in the intimacy of stories that are part of a Germany we know about but don’t know enough about.

Stasiland introduces you to Miriam Weber, her treatment as a 16 year old by the Stasi is unconscionable while her memory and the detail of her experiences vivid.

All That I Am is inspired by the lives of a group who resisted Hitler in the 1930’s and flee to London when he came to power in 1933 and told through the ‘rememberances of things past’ by two of the group.

The dinner guests became engaged in a question and answer opportunity with Alex Sloan as the moderator and it was a fascinating reflection on the thoughtful and intelligent book lovers this ANU initiative brings to the table for their ‘Eat, drink and be literary’ events.

Ken Done is next on 8 April.