05.10.2010 update: Annabel has been shortlisted for the Giller Prize! One more step to go!
20.09.2010 update: Today Annabel was longlisted for the Giller Prize! Congrats Kathleen!
From the jacket:
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.
Instead of going the route of human boy/girl imagery I thought it much more visually compelling to take from the rugged and beautiful setting of Labrador and its natural environment using the caribou — a recurring image in the novel — to depict the duality of its main character. Combining elements I used a faded and blurred, almost watery image of a young doe being encroached upon from above by a massive rack of male antlers. But like the book, all is not as it seems. The caribou, you see, is the only member of the deer family in which both male and females grow antlers.