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Annabel

by Kathleen Winter

This novel is set in a conventional Canadian rural village in the 1960s. It's a tale of identity, and growing up with the sense of feeling different. Parental expectations, sexuality and feelings of isolation are all heightened when you are growing up; but even more so when you are born a hermaphrodite. A beautiful, tender novel and at times uncomfortable, but overall a powerful reading experience.

Extract

No man in Croydon Harbour would knock on the door of a woman not his wife on a moonlit night unless it was to inform her that her husband had perished, or unless he was the doctor come to save her life or of her child. But the night he saw Wayne’s homework consisted of colouring a picture of Hermaphroditus- a young man with gladiator’s arms and a beard and a woman’s breasts and hips – Treadway felt he had no choice but to knock at the Guest House door and ask Thomasina Baikie what in the name of God she thought she was up to.

Parallels

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Late Night Air by Elizabeth Hay
Anything by Annie Proulx
 

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