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list price: $14.95
edition:Paperback
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category: Fiction
published: April 2014
ISBN:9781770898073

Holding Still for as Long as Possible

by Zoe Whittall

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literary, urban life, lesbian
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $14.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback Hardcover eBook
category: Fiction
published: April 2014
ISBN:9781770898073
Description

A dazzling portrait of twenty-somethings who grew up on text-messaging and the war on terror.

In this robust, elegantly plotted, and ultimately life-affirming novel, Zoe Whittall presents a dazzling portrait of the Millennial Generation — the twenty-five-year olds who grew up on anti-anxiety meds, text-messaging each other truncated emotional reactions, unsure of what's public and what's private.

Holding Still explores an unusual love triangle involving Billy, a former teen idol, now an anxiety-ridden agoraphobic; Josh, a shy transgendered paramedic who travels the city patching up damaged bodies; and Amy, a fashionable filmmaker coping with her first broken heart. With this extraordinary novel, Whittall gives us startlingly real portraits of three unforgettable characters, and proves herself to be one of our most talented writers.

About the Author
Zoe Whittall is the author of numerous novels and poetry collections, including the critically acclaimed The Best Kind of People, Holding Still For As Long As Possible and Bottle Rocket Hearts, a Globe and Mail Best Book of 2007. She has a master's degree from the University of Guelph. Originally from Quebec, she has lived in Toronto, Ontario, since 1997. For more information, visit www.zoewhittall.com.
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Contributor Notes

Zoe Whittall is the author of The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (2001), The Emily Valentine Poems (2006), and Precordial Thump (2008), and the editor of Geeks, Misfits, & Outlaws (2003). Her debut novel Bottle Rocket Hearts (2007) made the Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year and CBC Canada Reads’ Top Ten Essential Novels of the Decade. Her second novel Holding Still for as Long as Possible (2009) won a Lambda Literary Award and was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. Her writing has appeared in the Walrus, the Believer, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Fashion, and more. She has also worked as a writer and story editor on the TV shows Degrassi and Schitt’s Creek. Born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, she has an MFA from the University of Guelph and lives in Toronto.

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Reader Reviews

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Great read for a specific time in life

While I enjoyed this book, I feel like I might have enjoyed it a lot more had I read it about five years ago; and I would be hesitant to recommend it to anyone who is not in their early twenties. It captures so perfectly the feelings of those years, at least for a specific set of twenty-somethings: the drama, the sexual exploration, the sometimes self-imposed poverty, the longing to connect to something bigger than oneself.

The characters in Whittall's novel live in the neighbourhoods my friends and I live in; the downtown Toronto neighbourhoods that consist of gorgeous old buildings divided into apartments, secret gems in areas that are rapidly turning into condo forests. Gentrification is an ever-present background character in this story.

The story itself is more like a bunch of stuff that happens in the lives of some people. It's interesting and engaging, but not totally traditionally story-shaped. People get together, break up, hang out, think about going to class or work or back home to visit their parents. All the characters seem to have a very fluid sexuality, which is really cool; gender identity does not appear to be a barrier to any of their relationships. They communicate through text messages and hang out at odd hours of the night. They probably don't think that they are hipsters. Every one of them seems like someone I know.

What I really liked was how Whittall dealt with her trans character; it came up at the beginning that he was trans, and then it was not mentioned again. He had a regular life like every other character. This is positive representation: when it's not such a big fucking deal. I liked it very, very much.

The city was used well as a backdrop to the story, and I always really like reading scenes set in places that I know.

I did like the book a lot; I just found it hard to get emotionally invested in characters with problems that I already probably spent too much time and energy on in my own life just a few years ago. I do highly recommend it for people in the 19-24 age range, especially those looking to read about non-hetero people who have regular person problems and aren't tokens or designated sidekicks.

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