Kathleen Winter on hidden spaces and hidden selves


To kick off 2014, Shelagh Rogers is interviewing all five of the Canada Reads authors on The Next Chapter-- one a week between January 6 and February 3! Last week Rogers spoke to Esi Edugyan, and in this edition she talks to Kathleen Winter, author of Annabel.

Rogers spoke with Kathleen Winter when the book was first published in 2010 about how the story of Annabel first came to her.

Annabel deals with the birth of an intersex baby in rural Newfoundland in 1968. The baby's parents make the difficult decision to raise the child as a boy named Wayne, keeping his feminine side a lifelong secret in the rigidly defined masculine culture. But as Wayne grows up, he can't entirely ignore the feminine presence in his identity. Annabel is an unforgettable novel about one person's struggle to discover the truth in a culture that shuns contradiction.

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Annabel was published by House of Anansi in 2010 and became a national bestseller. The book won the Thomas Head Raddall Award, and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award and the Orange Prize.

You can listen to Kathleen Winter's conversation with Shelagh Rogers in the audio player above. If you'd rather listen to the whole episode, you can do so on The Next Chapter website.

Find out why these books are the chosen ones:


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