The Danish Girl

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Danish Girl
Author David Ebershoff
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Allen & Unwin
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 324
ISBN ISBN 1-74175-840-8
Followed by Pasadena

The Danish Girl is a novel by American writer David Ebershoff, published in 2000 by Allen & Unwin.


The novel is a fictionalized account of the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery.[1]


The Danish Girl won the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Lambda Literary Award. It was also a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award and an American Library Association Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book.

Film adaptation[edit]

The novel is being adapted into a film with Lasse Hallström directing, and starring Nicole Kidman as Einar Wegener as Kidman's film company Blossom Films currently owns the rights. [2] Originally, Charlize Theron was to have played Gerda Wegener. Gwyneth Paltrow and later Uma Thurman and Marion Cotillard have been linked by rumor to the role.[3][4]


In The New York Times Book Review, novelist and critic John Burnham Schwartz called the novel "arresting": "I hope people will read 'The Danish Girl.' It is fascinating and humane."[5] Critic Richard Bernstein wrote The New York Times, "Mr. Ebershoff is telling us that love does involve a small dark space. The intelligence and tactfulness of his exploration of it make his novel a noteworthy event."[6]


The novel has been translated into more than ten languages and is published in paperback by Penguin.


  1. ^ John Burnham Schwartz, "Metamorphosis," The New York Times Book Review, February 27, 2000.
  2. ^ The Huffington Post, "Nicole Kidman In 'The Paperboy': Talks To Replace Sofia Vergara," June 29, 2011. ("Kidman, who just had a child via surrogate, has a busy schedule already; she's due to release the Joel Schumacker-directed, Nicolas Cage-starring 'Trespass,' later this year, and will soon start filming 'The Danish Girl.'")
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ John Burnham Schwartz, "Metamorphosis," The New York Times Book Review, February 27, 2000.
  6. ^ Richard Bernstein, "'The Danish Girl': Radical Change and Enduring Love," The New York Times, February 14, 2000. ("The historical fact is that in 1931 a Danish painter named Einar Wegener became the first man ever to be transformed surgically into a woman, changing her name to Lili Elbe and eventually leaking her story to the press. In 'The Danish Girl' David Ebershoff uses the bare facts of Wegener-Elbe's story to summon a rich imagined universe in which the main event is less the sexual transformation itself than the way that transformation affected other people.")

External links[edit]