gail schimmel

The blog of writer Gail Schimmel: A bit of writing, a bit of parenting, a bit of thinking and some book reviews

Annabel

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I know I’m a bit late to this party, but my thoughts on Annabel by Kathleen Winter:
Annabel is about a hermaphrodite, and therefore, for those of us who’ve read it, makes on think of Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Which is not a bad thing, because Middlesex was fabulous and probably a landmark work in making us think about this issue with humanity.
For me, the big difference was how I related to the characters – which might be because of how Annabel is written, or might be because I am now a parent and wasn’t (I don’t think) when I read Middlesex.
As Wayne Blake’s parents make mistakes in their well meaning decisions, I kept thinking, “What would I do if this was my child?” Would I have the humanity to ignore a need for normal, and allow my child to just “be” until a time that he or she could decide, or medicine could determine, whether he or she was at heart male or female. Or is that impossible – as is implied by the opening quote of the book – because we are all on a gender continuum anyway.
An easy read on an uneasy subject – excellent.

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