BookBrowse Reviews Annabel by Kathleen Winter

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Annabel

A Novel

by Kathleen Winter

Annabel
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2011, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2011, 480 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Beverly Melven

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A daringly unusual debut full of unforgettable beauty

Someone famously said once that reading novels is the best way to understand the thoughts of people other than ourselves. Or something like that. Regardless, this is the biggest reason I read fiction. I am fascinated by human beings and what makes us tick. Kathleen Winters has written a remarkable book that takes the inner lives of a small family and blows the pieces apart for us to dig through and marvel at. This book will show you some of the things inside your own head, as well as making you think twice about what your family members might be feeling.

This book is not about a confused child, but the story of how a whole family tries to figure out what it means when there is no simple answer to that basic question: Is it a boy or a girl? It's hard to fathom how large that question looms when you need a third option. So many things are gender-coded (bathrooms, clothing...

Interesting to Note
According to the Intersex Society of North America, one in 2000 children is born with "noticeably atypical genitalia"; considerably more are born with subtler forms of sex anatomy variations, some of which won't show up until later in life.

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