Zoe Whittall

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Zoe Whittall
Zoe Whittall.jpg
Born (1976-02-16) February 16, 1976 (age 42)
Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada
Occupation Writer
Nationality Canadian
Period 2000s-present
Notable works Bottle Rocket Hearts
Holding Still for as Long as Possible
Notable awards 2008 Dayne Ogilvie Prize
2016 K.M. Hunter Award

Zoe Whittall (born February 16, 1976) is a Canadian poet and novelist.[1] She has published four novels and three poetry collections to date.

Personal life and work[edit]

Whittall was born in 1976 in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and spent her childhood on a farm on the outskirts of South Durham.[1] She graduated from Dawson College in Montreal in 1995, attended Concordia University from 1995 to 1997, and completed an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph in 2009.[1]

She's worked for the small publishing houses Between the Lines Books and Sumach Press, and also as an arts reporter. She lives in Toronto.[1]

Her first novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, was named a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year[1] and one of the top ten essential Canadian novels of the decade by CBC's Canada Reads.[2]

She won the Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Grant for best gay emerging writer in 2008.[3] She subsequently served on the award's 2011 jury, selecting Farzana Doctor as that year's winner.[4]

Holding Still for as Long as Possible, Whittall's second novel, was published in 2009 in Canada and 2010 in the United States.[1] It's been optioned for film, and was shortlisted for the 2010 ReLit Award.[1] It was also an honour book for the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Award in 2011,[5] as well as winning a Lambda Literary Award.

In 2010 she published a short novella for Orca Books' Rapid Reads series called The Middle Ground, a book for adults with low literacy skills.

Her poetry books include The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life, The Emily Valentine Poems and Precordial Thump.[1] She edited the short fiction anthology Geeks, Misfits & Outlaws (McGilligan Books) in 2003.

In 2016, her novel The Best Kind of People was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.




  • The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life, 2001 (McG)
  • The Emily Valentine Poems, 2006 (Snare)
  • Precordial Thump, 2008 (Exile Editions)


External links[edit]