Kathleen Winter and Sarah Gadon talk Canada Reads


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The 2014 contenders were revealed on November 27. Actor Sarah Gadon is one of the panelists this year and she chose to champion Annabel by Kathleen Winter, the story of an intersex child born in rural Labrador in the 1960s.

Gadon believes Annabel is about so much more than that. She says it's about identity. "It looks at identity not as a fixed thing but as a fluid and changeable and ongoing journey." Gadon was particularly attracted to this message because as a Canadian artist, she's often asked about Canadian identity and is constantly changing and growing and challenging herself through her work.

But how can this book change Canada? Gadon believes that Annabel "speaks for itself" and that identity is an ever-present question for Canadians, both individually and collectively. It's not only about understanding ourselves but relating to each other. "[Annabel] teaches us about compassion," Gadon said. "If we learn to understand each other, we will have a better understanding of ourselves."

This is a message Kathleen Winter agrees with. She wants Sarah to be true to herself when she heads into the debates in March and trust her experience with the book. "I trust Sarah," Winter said. "I want her to be true to what she thinks and feels."

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