"I was surprised my quilt and pillow were cold,
I see that now the window's bright again.
Deep in the night, I know the snow is thick,
I sometimes hear the sound as bamboo snaps."
- BaiJuyi, Night Snow
Just in time for the holiday season: a new book club pick to cosy up to on quiet evenings.
For the month of December, we look to Kathleen Winter's "Annabel".
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 and sweeping in scope, Annabel is a compelling tale about one person's struggle to discover the truth in a culture that shuns contradiction.
About the author:
Kathleen Winter is a Canadian short story writer and novelist., born in Bill Quay near Gateshead in the north of England and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador. She began her career as a script writer for Sesame Street before becoming a columnist for The Telegram in St. John's Her debut short story collection, boYs, was published in 2007 and won that year's Winterset Award and Metcalf-Rooke Award.
Annabel was published in 2010, and won the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. It was in the shortlisted nominee for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the 2010 Governor General's Awards. It held the distinction of being the only novel to make the short list of all three awards in 2010. In 2011 it was shortlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction.
She currently lives in Montreal with her husband and is the sister of novelist Michael Winter.
-(taken from good old Wiki)
I must admit, I've already passed the first two chapters and I'm already loving it!
As well, thank you to everyone who turned up at our seventh meeting! We had a great discussion about our previous pick, G.M. Malliet's "Wicked Autumn", which left us to wonder what the author has in store next for the former MI5 agent turned vicar, Max Tudor! Then it was on to some fun gift exchanges, which left us quite content with what we've chose!