Annabel

Annabel

Book - 2010
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Baker & Taylor
Born a boy and a girl but raised as a boy, Wayne or "Annabel" struggles with his identity growing up in a small Canadian town and seeks freedom by moving to the city.

Perseus Publishing
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 secret?the 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.

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.


Baker
& Taylor

Raised as a boy but secretly nurtured as a girl by various family members, a hermaphrodite youth in 1970s Canada escapes his hometown and struggles to confront his dual identity as well as his allegiances to those he most loves. A first novel by the award-winning author of the story collection, boYs. Original.

Publisher: New York : Black Cat, 2010
ISBN: 9780802170828
080217082X
Branch Call Number: Fiction Win
Characteristics: 465 p. ; 21 cm

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r
re_discover
Nov 19, 2017

I read Annabel for my 2017 Reading Challenge in the category of a Giller prize winner or nominee. I found the story to be unbelievable. For example, that a piece of glass would land so perfectly in her throat to cause permanent damage to Wallis' vocal cords. I am also tired of sexual violence being the only thing that defines what it is to be a woman.

s
sgcf
Mar 26, 2017

I liked this book about secrets more than I thought I would. About secrets kept – of a child hermaphrodite growing up a as the boy Wayne – and about secrets hesitantly revealed – of the girl Annabel living within ‘his’ body and psyche. On page 87 his mother says about another issue: It could be [bad] if you hide something important from someone you love, which captures the main theme of the book. Author Kathleen Winter beautifully explores the true nature of friendship, and Wayne/Annabel’s journey to self knowledge. And this is part and parcel of creating characters who the reader really comes to know. Winter examines parenting styles – of those who seek to shape the child into their own preconceptions, and of those who nurture what they see of the child’s nature and interests. Although the author also intends the book to be about the father’s self growth, so much of him is revealed at the end, and not planted earlier, that I found that aspect a weakness

s
spiderfelt_0
Jan 29, 2017

There are so many ways to look at this book, it is difficult to decide which lens through which to examine it.

On the surface, it is a book about gender. On a deeper level, it is a book about identity. Influencing our identity are place, family and relationships, but in our core, we may need something that cannot be provided by the people or the place where we are born.

What moves us, and to whom are we responsible? How do we reconcile our desire to be fulfilled and still support those we love? When do we walk away from someone in pain, someone who needs us, for the sake of our own needs?

Kathleen Winters does not have all the answers, but she poses the questions in such a way that we can take the time to reflect on our experience.

falsedichotomy Dec 31, 2015

Like many Canadian novels I've read, this one has a strong undertone of sadness and despair - it must be the long winters!

I thought the characters were fascinating and the story was quite good too, but what really held me, and stayed with me long after I'd finished the book, was the author's descriptions of remote Labrador and the lives of trappers in the isolated north.

ehbooklover Mar 09, 2015

3.5 stars. A beautifully written, evocative, and emotional read that touches on many important themes such as nature VS. nurture and learning to be true to ones self. Difficult to read at times but so worth it. The complex characters will stay with you long after you have put this book down.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 10, 2014

Descriptions of rural Labrador in the late 1960s provide a stunning, stark backdrop for the story of Wayne, born a hermaphrodite into a small community. The actions and inaction of the adults in his life shape his identity and self-perception through his childhood until Wayne/Annabel comes of age despite previous medical and social intervention.

IPL_Mandy Jun 14, 2014

Another Canadian master on the literary scene. Wayne struggles with his identity after he learns, abruptly, that he is not who he thought he was. Coping with the news he is "other", neither male or female, in unsophisticated Labrador is anything but easy. A coming of age story complicated by biology and set in a distinctive place. What I can't convey here is what a wonderful writer Winter is; so find out for yourself.

Serving suggestion: fried cod's tongues with peas pudding, followed by bakeapple (cloudberry) tart

Bettiea1755 Feb 06, 2014

Ce livre fut mon tout premier e-read (numérique) et j'ai adoré cet auteure Terreneuvienne.

m
molmil8
Jan 07, 2014

I read this for Canada Reads 2014 and because I love Canadian Literature. By the time you finish this book you will feel like you have been on the journey with the characters, and also want to see thelandscape of Labrador first hand. If this subject interests , try as well Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

e
erinsnest
Dec 15, 2013

Dec 15, 2013....this is one of the picks for the Canada Reads debate which starts in March 2014. I am going to put aside my Steven King Dark Tower series and start these books. This one came in first so, it gets read first, although I see 3 more came in on Friday. (it's Sunday) Going to be a happy reading winter! I am on page 27, and so far liking it. Reminds me a bit of "The Seal Wife" and "The Birth House." Maybe it's just that east coast flavour? (Oh, just checked, "The Seal Wife" was set in Alaska.....same remote, small town feel?)......Dec 17, finding this story very sad. I'm on page 138, still a lot more to go, but really not sure what path it will take. Must read on!.......Dec 18, on page 229. This story is still full of sad people, and sad events, in what sounds like a beautiful landscape.......Dec 20, on page 313, still sad, but now has a bit of a science fiction twist? I'm not sure what to think of this book.......Dec 23, I only have a few pages of this galloping sad story to finish, and I think I am beginning to see the point of it. Wonder if I am right?.....(later on).....well it didn't directly go where I thought it was going, but it was implied. After all of the above, I have a smile on my face!

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j
JMJourney
Mar 13, 2012

Winter's first novel tells the story of an intersex child born in the late 1960s in a small, rural town in Canada and raised as a boy. His parents try to protect Wayne from harm, each in his or her own way; his father tries to interest him in the wilderness skills that men in their community use to make a living, but his mother refuses to discourage his interest in more feminine pursuits. Wayne doesn't learn of his intersexuality until a medical emergency reveals his condition to him. Though he tries to be a boy to fit in, he is preoccupied by the girl that he knows lives within him; he has to leave home and quit his hormone therapy to allow his body to be as ambiguous as he feels inside. Winter's lyrical language contrasts with the characters' discomfort about Wayne's secret. VERDICT Readers interested in literary explorations of gender, such as Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex, will appreciate this novel as well. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/10.]-Amy Ford, St. Mary's Cty. Lib., Lexington Park, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals

kala73 Dec 22, 2011

The author has done the character development so well that the reader can see various points of view. Very much enjoyed her style of prose. Touching without melodrama.

AGLibrary Jul 21, 2011

Hermaphrodite child born to a couple in Labrador, birth to adult.
Good

skatemom May 04, 2011

Here is a summary from Chapters web site.
In 1968, into the beautiful, spare environment of remote coastal Labrador, a mysterious child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor girl, but both at once. Only three people are privy to the secret - the baby's parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbour, Thomasina. Together the adults make a difficult decision: to raise the child as a boy named Wayne. But as Wayne grows to adulthood within the hyper-masculine hunting culture of his father, his shadow-self - a girl he thinks of as "Annabel"- is never entirely extinguished, and indeed is secretly nurtured by the women in his life.
Haunting and sweeping in scope, Annabel is a compelling tale about one person's struggle to discover the truth in a culture that shuns contradiction.

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v
vickiz
Oct 03, 2010

You can't be synchronized if you're by yourself. Imagine synchronizing your watch to the right time if it is the only watch in the world.

v
vickiz
Oct 01, 2010

The child knew that a grim, matter-of-fact attitude was required of him by his father, and he learned how to exhibit such an attitude, and he did not mind it because it was the way things were, but it was not his authentic self.

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