A Rapariga Dinamarquesa
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A Rapariga Dinamarquesa

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  963 ratings  ·  165 reviews
El narrador californano David Ebershoff encontró, en el tema de las deciciones tras genéricas el pretexto literario para escribir una novela titulada La chica danesa, que se basa en la historia real de einer Wegener, el primer hombre sobre la faz de la tierra que quzo ser mujer y se sometio a una cirugia para serlo. Escabrosa y sutil cual gavilan o paloma. La chica danesa...more
363 pages
Published September 2000 by Teorema (first published February 7th 2000)
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Molly Jones
Mar 03, 2007 Molly Jones rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in complicated love stories
This historical novel, by David Ebershoff, is about the first transexual to undergo a sex change (in this case, a man who becomes a woman) set in the early 1900s. The story is an intertwining of two lives, the man who undergoes the sex change and his wife. The wife is a strong-willed Californian, who comes from a very wealthy family that wants her to accept her socialite life, which she defies by moving to Europe. She dreams of becoming a painter, but is uncertain of her talent and her focus. Sh...more
The Short of It:

A non-traditional love story that will stay with you long after you put it down.

The Rest of It:

I absolutely loved this novel. The novel itself was inspired by the marriage of Einar and Gerda Wegener, both artists living in Copenhagen in 1925. As Einar realizes that he is indeed a woman, seemingly trapped in a man's body, he becomes Lili and the three of them live together as a family of sorts. At first, he dresses as Lili in the privacy of the apartment that he shares with Greta...more
Nov 11, 2007 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the gingerbread man?
Shelves: great-danes
My mom recommended this to me. I read it a few years ago, and I remember it as a very unusual and beautiful love story about a married couple in early-twentieth-century Denmark. It's a rare book that can really describe such a remarkable relationship, and the unique quality of its love, in a moving and convincing way.

The situation here is that the husband, over the course of the novel, transitions (psychologically, socially, and surgically) from male to female -- again, in early-twentieth-centur...more
I read David Ebershoff's "The Nineteenth Wife" and I quite enjoyed it. I was looking forward to this because it sounded so thought provoking. Unfortunately, I did not find the characters realistic at all. I found it very strange how few people reacted negatively to Lille/Einar. I imagine a man who wants to live as a woman in early 20th century Europe would face a lot more adversity than disapproval by a few doctors and his father. I also found Greta unrealistic. She smothered her first husband w...more
I think this book is going to stick with me for a while. Haunting (in a good way).

It reminded me of Middlesex (Renee- me too!) a little bit in that it focuses on a character who has a different kind of sexuality than most of us do. I'm not 100% sure if he/she is meant to be a hermaphrodite or transsexual. Either way- fascinating book, based on a real Dutch painter. Especially interesting (and well written) was the relationship between the man(or woman) - Lili/Einar- and his wife, Greta. They obv...more
I really enjoyed this book. It is hard to believe that thiis operation dates back to 1931. I was moved by the unconditional love and support of Greta and Carlisle. Iwas also pleased to see that Greta finds her own chance for happiness at the end and I know her paintings will change to focus on landscapes of Pasasena and it will reflect theinfluence of Einar. Her passion and dedication will make her agreat success in the US. I have to say I was inspired by her love and support and her independent...more
Judith Yeabsley
This was an amazing novel. Based on the true story of a painter who in the early 20th Century realised he was a woman and the changes that brought for him. It would not have been as fascinating if it hadn't been for his wife who was a part of the whole story. She was such a strong and positive character and made me reevaluate love and the emphasis we should place on the thoughts of others.
The author is a little literary smug but aside from that it's a really different book and a really interesti...more
Laurie Tomchak
Very easy, compulsively easy to read, yet painful. The hero/ine seems to go through so much pain, pain that we now know is unnecessary. But this is the fate of the pioneer in gender reassignment as in other things. Knowing that the novel is based on a true story causes the reader to research the real story, the paintings of the two artists, to find out how it all turned out. But the novel itself raises interesting questions about hetero and homosexuality, about art, history and society.
Camille Vitug
I picked up this book from a secondhand bookstore, and I was surprised that I was able to find such an interesting novel. You see, used bookstores here in the Philippines don't offer much, but I was immediately captivated by Einar Wegener's tale.

The Danish Girl is a fictionalized account of Lili Elbe's life, one of the first transsexuals. It is a story of an esoteric love that knows no bounds.

I was really excited to read this book, and the first pages didn't disappoint. However, I couldn't hel...more
I have had The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff sitting on my bookshelf for years. It had already been sitting there for a couple years, when my book club picked Ebershoff's The 19th Wife which I purchased, read and loved a year ago. I don't know what has kept me from actually reading it though. In it, Ebershoff fictionalized the true story of the Danish artist, Einar Wegener, an intersex person (meaning he had both male and female anatomy) who grew up male, but later became the first person to ha...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elevate Difference

The Danish Girl is like a multilayered Flemish painting or tapestry. On the surface, it’s the story of the marriage of two painters, Clara and Einar. However, Einar Wegener was the first male to undergo successful gender affirming surgery. And The Danish Girl is also the story of a search for one’s true identity, and how one navigates that struggle within the boundaries of a relationship.

The novel opens in Copenhagen in the 1920s and the author has painted a rich landscape of the country and cul...more
This is the story of Einar Wegener and his wife Greta. Both are painters and one day when Greta’s model cancels, she asks her husband to put on the models stockings and shoes so she could finish the painting. Lili awakens in Einar and he feels much more complete and confident as a woman. It’s as if something had been missing his whole life and that something is Lili. I was so impressed by the way Ebershoff told this story – it was perfect. He was totally sensitive to Einar and Lili, uses all the...more
From My Blog...[return][return]Identity, unwavering love, artistic, beautiful, lyrical, transcendental, are a few words that spring to mind as I reflect upon The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff, which is an exquisitely written novel with delicate and beautiful prose. The reader is introduced to Greta and Einar Wegener, both painters yet with differing subjects, Greta paints portraits and Einar paints landscapes, yet each is devoted to supporting the other's works, dreams and desires. In 1925 Gret...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Danish artist Einer Wegener and his artist wife, Greta, live a simple life in Copenhagen in the 1920′s. Einer paints landscapes while Greta paints portraits. Greta is almost through with a portrait, but the subject had to cancel her sitting, so Greta asks Einer to wear the shoes, hose and dress that she has been wearing. Einer discovers that he enjoys it and finds himself dressing as “Lili” more and more often. Greta even encourages it at first.

When Einer is dressed as Lili, he’s completely tran...more
Jeniffer Almonte
I enjoyed The Danish Girl. And I think the writing was very consistently good. David Ebershoff is wonderfully descriptive and clever, even when talking about very small moments. I would definitely seek out his books in the future.

That said, I guess I liked the writing more than the story itself.

My biggest issue with the book was the infantilizing of Einar, who is, of course, the man who becomes Lili. I guess I just couldn't wrap my head around his personality. Despite being a grown man that wa...more
a bizarre and unforgettable love story. or is it? i think this novel can truly be considered as a love story at heart. despite that the plot revolved around the metamorphosis of gender, sex and identity, and how can this affect the conventional set up of a marriage where there should only be a man and a woman involved to make it work, the backdrop is still a poignant love story between Greta, Einar, and the danish girl. the author introduced a couple conflicted by identity crisis and mutual dece...more
The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

David Ebershoff writes a story that is at once tender and heartbreaking, touching with compassion and complete lack of judgment on a topic that stirs confusion in many people even now. The story of Einar Wegener's transformation from man to woman and his wife's generous and wholehearted support of his journey was inspiring to read. With no more than the occasional weariness at having to welcome the unexpected guest who was Einar's emerging persona, Gerta Wegener accepted her husband's sudden ne...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When I picked this book up, I thought it was purely fiction. I didn't realize that it was based on a real person (Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe), the first person to get a sex change operation. I think knowing that it was based on at least some facts made the story more compelling. The author says at the back of the book that all the characters besides Einar/Lili are completely fabricated but I have to wonder also about Greta, Einar's wife.

Speaking of Greta, I was a little disappointed in the way the...more
Skimming Parade magazine in the Sunday paper many months ago, I read that Nicole Kidman was making a movie playing the part of a man as the central character. No way, I thought, she is just too feminine and her features are way too delicate. Admittedly, her character has gender identity problems and dresses in woman’s clothing, but still, no way.

I heard no more about it but checked the IMDb next time it crossed my mind and the movie still hadn’t been released. I found the name of the book the m...more
The spectrum of sexual identity is examined, roughly based on the life of Danish painter, Einar Wegener. Many of his personality traits seem to be moulded by his family and childhood, and he lives a quiet academic and creative life until he is pursued by an aggressive American artist, who becomes his wife.
Her simple requewt for his assistance as a model to finish a female portrait unleashes
desires which gradually consume Einar. In the bohemian culture of the 1920s, Einar increasingly spends tim...more
Inspired by the true story of Danish painter Einer Wegener and his California-born wife, this tender portrait of a marriage asks: What do you do when someone you love wants to change? Einer dresses more and more as Lili — the name given to her by Greta — and what started off as a game becomes a way of life for Greta and Einar. With Lili as her muse, Greta’s paintings begin to flourish. A French art dealer spots her work and the couple moves to Paris for the sake of Greta’s career. In the permiss...more
A fictionalized ( highly fictionalized) accounting of the first man to woman gender reassignment surgery in Germany and Denmark in the 1930s. The specific vein of the story the author chose to navigate is the marriage of Einar and Greta, Greta stayed married to Einar after he became Lilli and seemingly supported the whole evolution.

I found the interior life of the characters a bit confounding. Greta's motivations, originiating largely on the wasting death of her first husband from TB, were not...more
This book was inspired by a real person, Einar Wegener, who was one of the first known to have received M2F sex reassignment surgery, and who then became Lili Elbe. The author states that almost everything else in the book is fiction, but it is written like a description of the life of Einar/Lili and Einar's wife Greta. We follow them through their marriage, their discovery of Lili, and Einar/Lili's surgeries, with many flashbacks to prior periods in their lives as well. It's a fascinating journ...more
A novel based on the story of the first known male-to-female sex change sounds potentially off-putting, doesn't it? I can't say the premise of The Danish Girl grabbed me right off the bat. But author David Ebershoff's historical fiction The 19th Wife was my one of my Books of the Year for 2009, and a friend's strong review of this book, his first novel, made me re-think my position on reading it.

The transgendered have been with us for longer than we realize, and Danish painter Einar Wegener was...more
Sarah Sammis
Feb 14, 2013 Sarah Sammis rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: the zen leaf
The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff is a fictionalized account of Einar Wegener's transformation into Lili Eiber. When the model for his wife's current painting fails to show, Einar agrees to don the costume and pose in her place. And then he begins to realize he's more comfortable being a woman. Soon he is spending most of his time as Lili Eiber.

The book is set in Finland and in Pasadena, in flashback. Einar's wife was raised in Pasadena, California. I enjoyed seeing the city at the turn of the...more
Very good book. The prose is gentle and very readable. Story and characters are interesting as well. Ebershoff successfully paints the European setting and early 30's time frame with a remarkable skill, allow enough detail for visualization but never forgetting the story. Only a couple of things that i wanted resolved. (SPOILERS ahead)------->. One crucial factor in the early description of Lily's health was the bleeding from her nose as well as the subsequent bleeding "down there". This was...more
Although the mail protagonist is loosely based on a historical character, this is not narrative history. It is an exploration of love and gender identity. It is a beautiful and touching story. Living in Copenhagen where much of the story takes place, I noticed a number of small errors that slightly irritated me. However nothing that detracts from the story. highly recommended
There are many good reviews of this book, but I think that if people are looking for a fictionalized biography of Lili Elbe/Einar Wegener, they are going to be disappointed. As the author himself has said, Einar/Lili's story inspired him to write this, not that he wrote a fictionalized biography. There are many differences in facts, timing, events, and Wegener's actual wife Gerta, a Danish woman, has been totally re-imagined by Ebershoff as Greta, a Californian society woman, who moved to Copenh...more
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David Ebershoff is the author of three bestselling novels and a short story collection. His debut, THE DANISH GIRL, won the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lambda Literary Award, and an American Library Association Book Award. It is being adapted into a feature film with Nicole Kidman. His second novel, PASADENA, was named a Wall Street Journal Editor’...more
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