Kathleen Winter’s luminous debut novel is a deeply affecting portrait of life in an enchanting seaside town and the trials of growing up unique in a restrictive environment. In 1968, into the devastating, spare atmosphere of the remote coastal town of Labrador, Canada, a child is born: a baby who... show more
Kathleen Winter’s luminous debut novel is a deeply affecting portrait of life in an enchanting seaside town and the trials of growing up unique in a restrictive environment. In 1968, into the devastating, spare atmosphere of the remote coastal town of Labrador, Canada, a child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor fully girl, but both at once. Only three people are privy to the secretthe baby’s parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbor and midwife, Thomasina. Though Treadway makes the difficult decision to raise the child as a boy named Wayne, the women continue to quietly nurture the boy’s female side. And as Wayne grows into adulthood within the hyper-masculine hunting society of his father, his shadow-self, a girl he thinks of as Annabel,” is never entirely extinguished. Kathleen Winter has crafted a literary gem about the urge to unveil mysterious truth in a culture that shuns contradiction, and the body’s insistence on coming home. A daringly unusual debut full of unforgettable beauty, Annabel introduces a remarkable new voice to American readers.
Publish date: January 4th 2011
Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
Pages no: 465
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Adult Fiction
, Literary Fiction
, Coming Of Age
This was the first novel I have read centred around an intersex person (outside of fantasy fiction, of course). I'm glad it was such a good one. I got a very strong sense of Annabel/Wayne as a person, and sympathized with her struggles rather than being distanced by them. I was also grateful that th...
Pretty writing, an interesting story, and good parallels and symbolism (including some subtleties, like the mention of a seam ripper). However, Wayne/Annabel was so understated as to be something of a cypher. I found myself more and more frustrated by this drifting passivity, which isn't really reso...
Annabel is mostly about the way a remote community chooses to deal with a breach in the normal way of things: Wayne, the child that was born with both male and female genitalia. While it is a good book, with deep characters that suffer minor changes across the story, thus being relatable, and writin...
Wow. What a fantastic, unique novel. There's a blurb on the back of my library copy that recommends Annabel to "fans of Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex", and while the comparison is apt, this is a wholly different novel that stands on its own. The story takes place in a small hunting town in Labrador,...
It's rural Canada in the 1960s and Jacinta Blake gives birth to a child that has features of the both the male and the female. Advised by doctors who have never seen a true hermaphrodite before, the child is bought up as Wayne around parents that are always anxiously watching him for any signs of '...