David Ebershoff The Danish Girl

ISBN 13: 9780753810798

The Danish Girl

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9780753810798: The Danish Girl
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The Danish Girl is now a major motion picture starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, directed by Tom Hooper.

Loosely inspired by a true story, this tender portrait of marriage asks: What do you do when the person you love has to change?

It starts with a question, a simple favour asked by a wife of her husband while both are painting in their studio, setting off a transformation neither can anticipate. Uniting fact and fiction into an original romantic vision, The Danish Girl eloquently portrays the unique intimacy that defines every marriage and the remarkable story of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history, and the woman torn between loyalty to her marriage and her own ambitions and desires.

The Danish Girl is an evocative and deeply moving novel about one of the most passionate and unusual love stories of the 20th century.

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Review:

Though the title character of David Ebershoff's debut novel is a transsexual, The Danish Girl is less explicitly concerned with transgender issues than the mysterious and ineffable nature of love and transformation in relationships.

Loosely based on the life of Danish painter Einar Wegener who, in 1931, became the first man to undergo a sex-change operation, The Danish Girl borrows the bare bones of his story as a starting point for an exploration of how Wegener's decisions affected the people around him. Chief among these is his Californian wife, Greta, also a painter, who unwittingly sets her husband's feet on the path to transformation when, trying to finish a portrait, she asks Einar to stand in for her female sitter. Putting on her clothes and shoes, he is shaken:

Einar could concentrate only on the silk dressing his skin, as if it were a bandage. Yes, that was how it felt the first time: the silk was so fine and airy that it felt like a gauze--a balm-soaked gauze lying delicately on healing skin. Even the embarrassment of standing before his wife began to no longer matter, for she was busy painting with a foreign intensity in her face. Einar was beginning to enter a shadowy world of dreams where Anna's dress could belong to anyone, even to him.
Greta encourages her husband not only to dress like a woman, but to take on a woman's persona, as well. What starts out as a harmless game soon evolves into something deeper, and potentially threatening to their marriage. Yet Greta's love proves to be enduring if not immutable.

Ebershoff's historical prestidigitation is remarkable, making it seem easy to create the sights and sounds and smells of 1930s Denmark. Even more remarkable is his treatment of Greta: he gets inside her head and heart, and renders her in such loving detail that her reactions make perfect sense. Ebershoff's sensitivity to Greta is one of the finest achievements of this startling first novel; Einar is more of a cipher. In the end, this is Greta's book and David Ebershoff has done her proud. --Sheila Bright

Review:

This is a curiously touching tale, told in a lucid and sensitive style (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

An enthralling read (THE TIMES)

A beautifully written novel . . . elegant, assured and intelligent (DAILY EXPRESS)

The intelligence and tactfulness of his exploration of [love] makes his novel a noteworthy event (NEW YORK TIMES)

A first novel of startling refinement and beauty (Chicago Tribune)

Heartbreaking and unforgettable, it is a complete triumph (Boston Globe)

Beautifully written. It is absolutely engrossing . . . [an] elegant, assured and intelligent tale; as a first noivel, it is astounding (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)

Be enchanted by THE DANISH GIRL . . . elegant and sensitive writing (ELLE)

[An] affecting and graceful debut (NEW STATESMAN)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780143108399: The Danish Girl

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0143108395 ISBN 13:  9780143108399
Publisher: Penguin Random House USA, 2015
Softcover

9781474601573: The Danish Girl

W&N, 2015
Softcover

9780140298482: The Danish Girl

Penguin, 2001
Softcover

9780670888085: The Danish Girl

Viking, 2000
Hardcover

9781865082707: The Danish Girl

Allen ..., 2000
Softcover

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. UK ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. The Danish Girl is now a major motion picture starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, directed by Tom Hooper.Loosely inspired by a true story, this tender portrait of marriage asks: What do you do when the person you love has to change?It starts with a question, a simple favour asked by a wife of her husband while both are painting in their studio, setting off a transformation neither can anticipate. Uniting fact and fiction into an original romantic vision, The Danish Girl eloquently portrays the unique intimacy that defines every marriage and the remarkable story of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history, and the woman torn between loyalty to her marriage and her own ambitions and desires. The Danish Girl is an evocative and deeply moving novel about one of the most passionate and unusual love stories of the 20th century. Seller Inventory # HUK9780753810798

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. UK ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. The Danish Girl is now a major motion picture starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, directed by Tom Hooper.Loosely inspired by a true story, this tender portrait of marriage asks: What do you do when the person you love has to change?It starts with a question, a simple favour asked by a wife of her husband while both are painting in their studio, setting off a transformation neither can anticipate. Uniting fact and fiction into an original romantic vision, The Danish Girl eloquently portrays the unique intimacy that defines every marriage and the remarkable story of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history, and the woman torn between loyalty to her marriage and her own ambitions and desires. The Danish Girl is an evocative and deeply moving novel about one of the most passionate and unusual love stories of the 20th century. Seller Inventory # HUK9780753810798

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