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Extended Audio Sample Annabel Audiobook, by Kathleen Winter Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,371 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kathleen Winter Narrator: Tandy Cronyn Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2015 ISBN: 9781461804406
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Winter’s] lyrical voice and her crystalline landscape are enchanting.”

    New Yorker

  • “Affecting…Winter possesses a rare blend of lyrical brilliance, descriptive power, and psychological and philosophical insight. Her way with fate and sadness recalls The World According to Garp, without the cute irony. 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.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Sincere…The novel’s moral of acceptance and understanding is sure to win Winter many fans.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Annabel is a beautiful book, brimming with heart and uncommon wisdom. Life is ambiguity and flux and mystery and Winter has written a gorgeous, searing love letter to the possibilities that lie just below the surface of the everyday.”

    Michael Crummey, author of River Thieves

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jenni French | 2/19/2014

    " I really wanted to like this story. Wayne/Annabel is an intersex child whose parents choose to raise as a boy. Wayne occasionally expresses desires for feminine things, desires that are quashed by a dad who wants a very masculine son. All of that is well and good, but this story is told in third person, so we never get inside Wayne's head. Added to that are all the numerous passages describing the landscape or some history of the town where he lives, and this book lost my attention. I wanted to learn about Wayne, not about Canada. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justine | 2/16/2014

    " i wasn't really sure why the principal was able to just get his medical forms that easily (isn't that a breach of patient confidentiality?) and I am just chalking up the fact that the doctors who performed Wayne's initial surgery as an infant were doing so because they thought it was medically the safest thing to do (and possibly a result of lack of information in the region in which they were living/lack of information about the condition overall), since all of the stuff about the trapped menstrual fluid and the fetus struck me as something that could have been easily avoided. However, it was quite a pageturner. I would give it a 3.5. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly | 2/8/2014

    " Again, another book with a really great premise, but not executed exactly the way I'd hoped. It's not a bad book by any means; parts are very well written and struck a chord with me, but I was really disappointed with the ending because I felt it was incomplete. The story just kind of strayed off... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy Oakes | 2/6/2014

    " Review coming soon -- my friend borrowed my book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gillian Barfoot | 1/23/2014

    " Stark and sensitive, this is a story of a journey within and without, a beautifully told tale of growing up different in Labrador. I loved the details of people and place, and the openness to possibility. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ursula Osborn | 1/6/2014

    " Mesmerizing. Beautifully written , touched me deeply how someone deals with their fate. Summer Olympics 2012 gave us a hemephrodite runner from South Africa. It is a reality, wow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie Angel | 12/29/2013

    " What Proulx did for Newfoundland, Winter does with Labrador. Thanks to good writing, I can see why a man (hunter, trapper) would want to live there, but never a woman! Good story, well-drawn characters. Setting is major plus of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sumayyah | 12/14/2013

    " 2.5 Very dry. I could not not get into this book at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristyna Vogel | 12/8/2013

    " I loved this book. A beautiful coming-of-age story; of finding one's self identity and the ever-evolving family relationship. Wouldn't it be great if we were all free to be who we really are inside?! A must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phyllis | 12/7/2013

    " Beautifully written and nuanced book about a hermaphrodite born in a small back woods town in Canada. Superb and seductive descriptions of the wild. Explores all characters emotions and decisions. Very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kp | 12/3/2013

    " A beautifully expressed story of sorrow and hope that has the solidity and intricacy of a wrought iron gate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gewizaz | 11/18/2013

    " o m g can be a tough read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Ross | 11/15/2013

    " Wow! Blew me away. Amazing book. Loved the setting and the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merryn | 9/14/2013

    " Wow. I don't know whether it was the writing or the story that had me hooked. Either way, it was fantastic. The story of a hermaphrodite born in Canada in the 80's. A haunting and sensitive story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 9/13/2013

    " This author had me in the palm of her hand, until the very end and I went, "what just happened?" "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin Hartlaub | 7/3/2013

    " Book Club book - I liked the supporting cast and though they were more interesting than the main character. I would have like to know more about them and less about the main character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mariposa | 3/22/2013

    " A beautiful novel about a beautiful person. Its about what its like to be different and human wanting what we all want love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krystal | 3/19/2013

    " This book was very interesting and thought provoking however I was left wanting more, too much more. I felt that there were a lot of missed opportunities for the author to tie up loose ends. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karyn | 5/18/2012

    " Certainly beautifully written, but I was never really able to give myself over to this book. Interesting subject matter, artfully told... I just wish it had "grabbed" me, but for whatever reason, it did not, and I found myself having to push through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pj | 3/6/2012

    " A new look at gender. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri | 3/5/2012

    " Really beautiful coming of age story. Written with a stark simplicity in keeping with the setting. Loved the complexity of the main characters challenge, and the contrast with the bleak directness of his environment "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Victoria | 1/11/2012

    " I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy this, because I did. But holy cow, why is every book set in Newfoundland the most depressing book of all time? So desperately bleak. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon | 11/11/2011

    " I'm about 130 pages into this book but am loving it and can already tell it's going to fall into the category of novels that I finish and then start again from the beginning! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 11/8/2011

    " Wow! Blew me away. Amazing book. Loved the setting and the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joni | 11/2/2011

    " The story line was interesting. I didn't think I was going to be able to finish the book. It moves very slow until 2/3's of the way through. Winter is as wordy as Wallace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 10/8/2011

    " Highly Highly Recommend! Loved this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny | 10/2/2011

    " Poignant, tender, disturbing - educated me as to some of the facts(?) surrounding hermaphroditism and the unwitting harm we can do as parents. Beautifully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miranda | 9/28/2011

    " A great book with a very thought-provoking theme. It was the first novel to make me cry in quite a while and the story was moving and believable. I hope it inspires more tolerance and acceptance of the unfixed nature of gender. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 9/23/2011

    " It was a great read--sad?--not a great ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joann | 9/21/2011

    " Interesting novel about growing up as a hermaphrodite in a small Labrador village. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emilyjmj | 9/19/2011

    " Hmmm not quite what I expected. 2nd half was a little dull - the issues I was most interested in were skimmed over. Lacked the depth and insight into the condition, and the protagonist's character. "

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About the Author
Author Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter was born in the industrial northeast of England, spent many years in Newfoundland, and now lives in Montreal with her husband and daughters. Winter’s novel Annabel became a #1 bestseller in Canada and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Award, and the Orange Prize. It won the 2011 Thomas Head Raddall Award for Atlantic Fiction. Worldwide translations include Italian, Hebrew, Swedish, French, German, Dutch, and Chinese.

About the Narrator

Tandy Cronyn was born in Los Angeles in 1945. She has appeared in many plays both on and off Broadway, and has also made several film and television appearances, including Twisted and Law & Order: Cruel and Unusual.