Tuesday, May 10, 2011

spring update

Hi folks,

I had an awesome reading at the Parliament street library in Toronto last week. I talked about my rapid reads novel, The Middle Ground, published by Orca Books. I haven't had such a lovely and engaged crowd in quite a while. I will find out on June 9th if it wins the Ontario Library Association's Golden Oak award.

In other news, I'm currently at work on my screenplay and the fourth novel, and I'm also trying to learn to drive. I'm pretty terrible at it so far.

There is a great review up on the Lambda Literary Awards of Holding Still for as Long as Possible. Here is an excerpt:

"The book is grounded in Josh’s EMT work, weaving cardiac arrest and twelve hour shifts among the nuances of these characters’ relationships with each other, creating a foundation of trauma that expertly juxtaposes life against death. And Josh within himself is a case study of perfect post-coming out literature: while we know he is trans, we’re following him in his life as it is, not while he struggles with identity, or patiently explains hormones to new friends. Josh is just a guy, and with these parameters we get one of the best trans man portraits fiction has yet to see.

Whittall also paints confident portraits of each character’s fluid sexuality, without getting bogged down in labels and politics: Amy is still attached to her ex-boyfriend Jason, but crushes out on the girl she sees at Starbucks; Billy doesn’t bat an eye when she morphs from mourning her girlfriend of seven years to falling for a guy. Whittall is expertly setting the tone for a whole new generation of queer fiction.

Whittall demonstrates her talent in the book’s crescendo, a flawlessly narrated collision of the characters’ lives. With the ending, a story that begins as interesting catapults into un-put-downable, and cements the characters of Josh and Amy and Billy in my heart. I’m still thinking about them. I can’t wait to see what queer magic Whittall pens next."

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