Kathleen Winter’s poignant debut novel was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. In it, Winter explores society’s views of gender identity through the eyes of a child born with male and female sex organs. At their doctor’s urging, the Blakes decide to raise their child as a boy, Wayne, giving him hormones to suppress his feminine physical traits. But after discovering the secret about his body, Wayne decides to stop taking his medication and lets his body develop naturally.
In 1968, into the beautiful, spare environment of remote coastal Labrador in the far north-east 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, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbour, Thomasina. Together the adults make a difficult decision: to go through surgery and raise the child as a boy named Wayne.