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Book Information: Danish Girl, the

Danish Girl, the (2000) [Novel]
by David Ebershoff Rating: Weighted - 6.7 / Average - 6.0 of 10 (1 votes) (Rate!)
Reviews: 1 (show them) Review!

Summary (From the publisher):

Set against the glitz and decadence of 1920s Copenhagen, Dresden, and Paris, this stunning first novel explores the boundaries of sex and gender, love and marriage.

Inspired by the true story of Danish painter Einar Wegener and his California-born wife, this tender portrait of a marriage asks: What do you do when someone you love wants to change? It starts with a question, a simple favor asked of a husband by his wife on an afternoon chilled by the Baltic wind while both are painting in their studio. Her portrait model has canceled; would he slip into a pair of women's shoes and stockings for a few moments so she can finish the painting on time? "Of course," he answers. "Anything at all." With that, one of the most passionate and unusual love stories of the twentieth century begins.

Original title: The Danish Girl
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionRomanceHistorical
FictionHistoricalEuropean20th Century
FictionGay & LesbianTransgender/transvestite
FictionHistoricalFictional Biography


  • Dedication: "For Mark Nelson"

Edition #1: Danish Girl, the

Danish Girl, the (2000)
Awards: Lambda Literary Award: Transgender (2000)
Edition Details:

Language: English

  • "Heartbreaking and unforgettable, it is a complete triumph." The Boston Globe
  • "A first novel of startling refinement and beauty." Chicago Tribune
  • "A profound and beautifully realized love story." Publishers Weekly
  • "David Ebershoff... summon[s] a rich imagined universe... His writing is of a highly refined kind; his story is marvelously furnished with period details... Mr. Ebershoff has written an unusual and affecting love story centering on a confrontation with the mystery of the other.... a book whose core... is complex and deep.... The intelligence and tactfulness of his exploration of [love] makes his novel a noteworthy event." The New York Times
  • "An extraordinary work of fiction... The Danish Girl is a remarkably daring leap for a first-time novelist, yet Ebershoff accomplishes it with grace, beauty, and intelligence. What could have been freakish and exploitative in less compassionate hands unfolds as a probing exploration of sexual identity. Yet even more so, it is a sublime psalm to an unusual and enduring love." The Boston Globe
  • "The novel's powerful effect is due not only to Ebershoff's vivid melodic prose, but also to his ability to slough off contemporary cant regarding gender dysphoria and transsexualism." Chicago Tribune
  • "Ebershoff honors the layers of ambiguity and the subtle psychological torsions. He compels our immersion.... Somewhere in these pages, the lid on the mystery box of identity swings open and the whole metamorphosis starts to feel real. Ebershoff pulls off the head-shaking author's trick: He convinces us of this most curious reversal, the waxing of one original self at the expense of another.... a sophisticated and searching meditation on the nature of identity." Esquire
  • "A bizarre and engrossing story of shifting identities, loyalty and love... Wild, riveting and just a little bit frightening... fascinating... The Danish Girl is a striking novelistic debut." New York Post
  • "Both sensational and, against all odds, extremely poignant... Ebershoff's novel has such a rich sense of atmosphere, and so tactful a respect for its characters' dignity, that it is nearly impossible not to be moved." The Baltimore Sun
  • "David Ebershoff has written a profound and beautifully realized love story (albeit quite an unconventional one)." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "Strangely moving... hard to categorize and hard to put down." The Detroit News/Free Press
  • "Ebershoff writes with a fine eye for detail. The pages sparkle with colors, scents, textures and movement... an inventive and engaging prose style.... A fascinating novel, beautiful for its strange and delicate flavor and its characters' depth of heart." San Francisco Chronicle
  • "The Danish Girl is a moody, evocative, lushly written true story of marital devotion and sexual deviance." Mademoiselle
  • "Einar's dawning awareness of his true self comes... gradually and gracefully, evoked in language of poetic delicacy... Ebershoff recounts this extraordinary story in a supple, restrained prose style that suggests the mastery of a seasoned novelist rather than a writer's debut effort. He captures the feel of Europe in the 1930s and the majesty of is principle settings... with unerring conviction and a keen eye for detail. The Danish Girl is a quiet but dazzling achievement, a tour de force of historical imagination and empathy." Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • "[A] surprisingly lovely first novel." Entertainment Weekly
  • "A brilliantly conceived and thoroughly original debut." Time Out New York
  • "Seldom has the delicate question of sexual identity been more subtly probed... Ebershoff's feel for the period atmosphere... has been poetically and intensely rendered." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • "Ebershoff's writing is gorgeous.... The fact that this is Ebershoff's first novel is a thing to herald." Interview
  • "David Ebershoff's extraordinary debut novel is actually based on a true story... beautifully written. It is absolutely engrossing. A seasoned author would have been proud of producing this elegant, assured and intelligent tale; as a first novel, it is astonishing." Sunday Express
  • "Intriguing and captivating... a resonant fable about metamorphosis and the construction of identity. This admirable book deserves to find a wide readership." Daily Telegraph
  • "[An] affecting and graceful debut... The bending of gender in fiction is long established, going back to the ancient Greek mythology. Two recent novels that spring to mind by way of example are Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body and Rose Tremain's Sacred Country. Ebershoff swims in similar waters—not derivatively, but with striking originality. He conveys an impressive sense of place and period—the Copenhagen, Paris and Dresden of the time are stylishly recreated. He is sensitive without being sentimental; his prose is clean and elegant. What Ebershoff exudes, above all, is the sense of a writer who is at one with his writing." New Statesman
  • "Be enchanted by The Danish Girl... elegant and sensitive writing." Elle
  • "The book is a sensuous treat, its symbolic visual imagery combining with mesmeric recreations of period and place. The author's arty prose is entirely appropriate for a book where a role played by art is integral to character development. Einar and his wife and [sic] treated with sympathy, and a potentially sensational or bizarre subject is treated with dignity." Art Newspaper
  • "This is a curiously touching tale, told in a lucid and sensitive style that shows great insight into an extraordinary predicament. David Ebershoff manages to avoid any hint of prurience or pornography. Instead he has written an engrossing story of true love, suffering and sacrifice." Sunday Telegraph
  • "Subtle, elegant and moving." Observer
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Danish Girl, the (2000)

ISBN: 0140298487

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