All That I Wish…


Again, it’s been long enough since my last post to warrant another one. Life has trundled into the way again–mainly work, and associated trivialities.

I wanted to report this morning, really as a continuation of my previous post, that I probably won’t finish reading All That I Am. I can’t, in all honesty, remember the last time I opened it now; if nothing else, then, the book has hardly drawn me in. I think, fundamentally, it’s unnecessarily complicated. It is well written–the language, and Funder’s voice, is lovely–but ultimately I think she’s tripped over her own structure. Part of me wants to sneer that she’s showing off, but that’s not quite the problem–I think I’ve been kept out, somehow, by the assembly of her component parts.

I’ll leave my bookmark where it is, though: you never know.

I also admit to being distracted. I read Matthew Condon’s Three Crooked Kings over Easter and enjoyed it–I look forward to the sequel, All Fall Down, due later this year. These books are a foray into non-fiction for Condon; his novel The Pillow Fight is a sensational, brutal, clever novel (which details a harrowing relationship marked by domestic violence in which the violent party is the woman). There are other novels, which I am yet to catch up with.

On my list is How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman and to finish reading The Genesis Flaw by LA Larkin and Redback by Lindy Cameron. I started these two for a panel I chaired at the recent Writers Festival, Shock of the Now, in Hobart.

3 thoughts on “All That I Wish…

  1. Welcome back Cameron. Pity about All That I Am. As you know it has had both scathing (New York ) reviews and wonderful reviews, and won awards in Australia. For a first novel, I thought it was ambitious and I found the story itself fascinating and informative, bringing to life, for me, history I was unfamiliar with. But I agree with the critics about structural issues and most of all with the sometimes confusing character and time jumps. The thing I liked least was the need for stronger character development/differentiation between the two lead female characters voices. I enjoyed it. I learnt from it as a reader and a writer. The other books you mention sound interesting – mostly male authors? More females for your Stella commitment? 🙂 I have just finished two novels ‘On the Edge’ and ‘At Last’ by the lauded UK male author Edward St Aubyn, – an introspective dialogue that I’m sure if a woman had written them, would be called indulgent! (Whoosh – that’s me ducking for cover.) I’m about to read Jesse Blackadder’s new novel, ‘Chasing the Light’ about the first woman to reach Antarctica (yes, another woman written out of history). Then onto an old one of Hilary Mantel’s, ‘Vacant Possession’ written before she wrote herself into history with back to back Bookers. Pretty well over target on my Stella reading challenge – now to have the courage to review them 🙂

  2. Whoops – those other books you plan to read are from female authors! LA Larkin and Lindy Cameron were brilliant on the panel at the Tasmanian Writers Festival (and you as chair 🙂

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