You've likely been hearing a lot about MFA grad Zoe Whittall in the past year — it's been a big one for her. She won the KM Hunter Literature Award this spring, and her third Novel, The Best Kind of People (House of Anansi, 2016) was just published to major acclaim, earning her a spot on the Giller longlist. The novel is also a "Heather's Pick" at Indigo, promising a serious commercial bump for this deserving writer.
Not that we're surprised by all this good news. Zoe's second novel, Holding Still for as Long as Possible (House of Anansi, 2010), won the Lambda Literary Award for Trans Fiction, was a Stonewall Book Award Honor Book, and was shortlisted for the ReLit Award. Her debut novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts (Cormorant, 2007), won The Writer’s Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie grant, and was selected as one of CBC’s Canada Reads Top 10 Most Important Books of the Decade, and named a Globe & Mail Best Book of the Year.
What you might not know is that literary fiction is only the tip of the iceberg with Ms. Whittall. Check out her three sharp, sensitive collections of poetry: Precordial Thump (Exile, 2008), The Emily Valentine Poems (Snare, 2006), and The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (McGilligan, 2001). And on the other side of the spectrum, her TV writing chops are on display in shows like Schitt's Creek and season 14 of Degrassi. Zoe is also in the process of developing an original sitcom with CTV.
Celebrate the launch of The Best Kind of People on Wednesday, September 21st, from 7–9pm at Toronto's Cadillac Lounge. Hosted by Emily Keeler. Featuring a Q&A with Zoe, a short film by Chase Joynt, and Meaghan Strimas will be opening the event with a reading from her upcoming book of poetry.