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Holding Still for as Long as Possible

Written by Zoe Whittall

  • 312 Pages
  • 9780887843013
  • FICTION / Literary



Publication Date September 15, 2009

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.

Winner of the Earla Dunbar Consumer Award 2010

Winner of the Lambda Literary Awards: Transgender Fiction 2011

Short-listed for the ReLit Award 2010

Selected for the Stonewall Honor Book in Literature 2011

Short-listed for the Lambda Literary Awards: Lesbian Fiction 2011


Zoe Whittall

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.


"An unforgettable depiction of growing up in the new millennium." Booklist

"Holding Still for as Long as Possible is part of an exciting new wave of books highlighting trans characters without making their gender the book's primary focus . . . well-developed . . ." Curve

"Holding Still For As Long As Possible is a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, casual-sexing book. At its heart, though, Whittall’s brilliantly simple novel is a good old-fashioned love story, charming and compelling. And it feels true." Bull Calf