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Holding Still For As Long As Possible, Zoe Whittall (Anansi) 

Whittall's love, loss and hangovers

Zoe Whittall is a championing voice of outsiders and outcasts, of surviving your 20s and all their hangovers, in a polyamorous-leaning generation unencumbered by traditional gender labels. Whereas her first novel Bottle Rocket Hearts updated Mordecai's Montreal, Holding Still stars contemporary Toronto: first kisses on Now newspaper boxes, gentrifying Parkdale, parties at the Gladstone. Mortality looms, as a love triangle unfolds between two women, filmmaker Amy and former teen-rocker Billy, and Josh, a paramedic slowly crumbling under the pressures of his job. In a less-talented writer's hands, this story, with its smoking, boozing, anxiety-ridden cast, could have been as meaningful as the back pages of Vice, but Whittall, who is also a poet, obviously cares for her characters too much to let them become flatlining hipsters.

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