- Long-listed, ReLit Awards: Novel
- Winner, Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award
- Short-listed, Amazon.ca First Novel Award
- Short-listed, OLA Evergreen Award
- Short-listed, Orange Prize for Fiction
- Commended, New York Times Editors' Choice
- Short-listed, CBC Bookies: Best Scene
- Short-listed, CBC Bookies: Best Overall Book
- Long-listed, IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
- Commended, Quill and Quire Books of the Year
- Winner, Independent Literary Awards
- Short-listed, Governor General's Award: Fiction
- Short-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
- Commended, Vancouver Sun Top 10 Canadian Books of the Year
- Short-listed, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
- Commended, Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year
- Commended, Amazon.ca Best Books of the Year
Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Award for Fiction, and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
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, sweeping in scope, and stylistically reminiscent of Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, Annabel is a compelling tale about one person's struggle to discover the truth about their birth and self in a culture that shuns contradiction.close this panel
Kathleen Winter has written dramatic and documentary scripts for CBC Television. Her first collection of short stories, boYs (Biblioasis, 2007) was the winner of both the Winterset Award and the 2006 Metcalfe-Rooke Award, and her first novel, Annabel, was shortlisted for the 2010 Giller Prize, the 2010 Governor-General's Award, and the 2011 Orange Prize. A long-time resident of St. John's, Newfoundland, she now lives in Montreal.close this panel
. . . a captivating romantic novel with a happy ending.
A book like this, its topic and beautiful language, the unrelenting sorrow, Winter's insightful characterizations and utter sensitivity, is difficult to do justice to with these few words. I simply want to tell people: read this book. Read it though you know little or nothing about its subject or the author. It will open you up. It will change you.
Put "Annabel" right at the top of your summer reading list, and save it for a day when you have several lazy hours to live in its world.
...a sprawling book filled with musical prose...
[Kathleen Winter's] lyrical voice and her crystalline landscape are enchanting.
. . . Annabel is a novel about divisions, not only between the sexes but also between social classes and, perhaps most crucially, ways of being . . . Winter does a deft job of developing all the characters fully and making their motives understandable . . . It's to Winter's credit that both the fear and the beauty are given vivid expression in this finely crafted novel.
Annabel is a stunning and stirring debut that signals the long-overdue arrival of a literary talent.
This is a remarkable first novel, an accomplished debut by an exciting new voice with a confident, mature style.
Wayne proves a compelling narrator . . . you are going to choke up, don't even try not to. [. . .] The truth is, none of us knows what any of us is going to turn out like, and that's always a story worth telling.
Read it because it's a story told with sensitivity to language that compels to the last page, and read it because it asks the most existential of questions. Stripped of the trappings of gender, [Kathleen] Winter asks, what are we?
It's this complexity of vision, this refusal to accept false absolutes that makes Annabel such a stunning novel...
Winter has written an ambitious first novel set in a little-known corner of the country and peopled by memorable guides.
. . . utterly original . . . a haunting story of family, identity, and the universal yearning to belong.
Annabel is an unforgettable novel of struggles, personal and inter-personal, and Winter's empathetic voice does them justice in a way that connects reader to story. Destined to be one of the biggest novels out of Newfoundland this year, this is a story of isolation and a communication breakdown that breaks a family down, and breaks the reader down along with them.
The Montreal-based Winter, a native of Newfoundland, possesses a rare blend of lyrical brilliance, descriptive power and psychological and philosophical insight...A compelling, gracefully written novel about mixed gender that sheds insight as surely as it rejects sensationalism. This book announces the arrival of a major writer.
Reminiscent of Jeffrey Eugenides' magnificent 2002 novel Middlesex, Winter's treatment of such a delicate issue is amazing and incredibly engaging. Her novel is written with immense sensitivity and grace, not to be missed.
...a stunning novel, one of the rare kind that might well imbed itself permanently in a reader's psyche.
Annabel's strength lies in probing the dilemma of sexuality and self-knowledge. I have never read such an intimate portrait of a person struggling to live inside a self that the world sees as a dreadful mistake.
. . . a confident, serious debut.
. . . beautifully paced, sometimes shocking and never prurient.
Annabel...provided satisfying respite and insight.
Annabel is a beautifully sensitive novel, populated with realistic characters and lit by a powerful sense of place. It deserves multiple readings, as its sensibility, the richness of its description and its sheer honesty grip the heart.
There is a haunting beauty to Winter's depictions of the natural world.
Winter's dazzling debut addresses the riddle of gender and the tragedy of conformity with astonishing insight and eloquence.
. . . a poignant and powerful first novel . . .