The last time poet and novelist Zoe Whittall graced our stage was back in 2008 following the publication of her outstanding debut novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts. That edgy, neo-punky look at growing up queer in Montreal in the mid-90s made Quill & Quire’s Top Ten Books of 2007, the Globe & Mail’s Top 100 of 2007 and was named one of the top ten essential Canadian novels of the decade by CBC’s Canada Reads. Her second novel, Holding Still for as Long as Possible, took home the Lambda Literary Award and has been optioned for film. Her fourth and latest novel, The Best Kind of People, was a finalist for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller prize. It has a ripped-from-the-headlines feel as it tackles some of the darkest issues of our time.
Zoe Whittall, in a somewhat anti-establishment way, has become a high profile member of the Canadian literary establishment.