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Kathleen Winter has written dramatic and documentary scripts for Sesame Street and CBC Television. Her first collection of short stories, boYs, was the winner of both the Winterset Award and the Metcalf-Rooke Award. A long-time resident of St. John's, Newfoundland, she now lives in Montreal.
Author Photo © Juliette Dandenault
In 2010, bestselling author Kathleen Winter took a journey across the legendary Northwest Passage - connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans - alongside marine scientists, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and curious passengers. From Greenland to Baffin Island and all along this arctic passage, Winter witnesses the new mathematics of the melting North - where polar bears mate with grizzlies, creating a new hybrid species; where the earth is on the cusp of yielding so much buried treasure that five nations stand poised to claim sovereignty of the land; and where the local Inuit population struggles to navigate the tension between taking their part in the new global economy and defending their traditional way of life. Throughout the journey she also learns much from her fellow travellers - about the original expeditions, how to survive in a wasteland, Inuit society, the real perils of climate change - and guides us through her own personal odyssey, emigrating from England to Canada as a child and discovering both what was lost and what was gained as a result of that journey. In breathtaking prose charged with vivid descriptions of the land and its people, Kathleen Winter's Boundless is a haunting and powerful story: a homage to the ever-evolving and magnetic power of the North.
In 1968, in a remote part of Canada, a mysterious child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor girl, but both at once. Only three people share the secret - the baby's parents and a trusted neighbour. Together the adults make a difficult decision: to go through surgery and raise the child as a boy named Wayne. But as Wayne grows up within the hyper-male 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. As Wayne approaches adulthood, and its emotional and physical demands, the woman inside him begins to cry out. The changes that follow are momentous not just for him, but for the three adults that have guarded his secret.
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011. Haunting and sweeping in scope, this is a first novel as much concerned with its characters as it is with their predicament, as much about humanity as it is about a rigidly masculine culture that shuns the singular and the unique. Told with great elegance and empathy, Annabel is the powerfully moving story of one person's struggle to discover the truth and the strength to change, to find tenderness in a severe and unforgiving land.