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Whittall’s fave 5 books of 2010

Zoe Whittall’s fave 5 books of 2010

February is the perfect month to curl up with a book or two — or three. Author Zoe Whittall shares a few faves from 2010 to help get you caught up before the 2011 spring book season is upon us.

Inferno (a poet’s novel) by Eileen Myles

Inferno (a poet’s novel), by Eileen Myles (OR Books)

It’s hard to describe Inferno; it’s a memoir, but it’s also modelled on Dante’s Inferno. Set in 1968, when the young aspiring writer moves from Boston to NYC, we follow Eileen through her first experiences with poetry, lesbianism and various other romps around the East Village in its heyday. Hilarious, sexy and challenging, in all the best ways.

Inferno — OR Books

Sub Rosa by Amber Dawn

Sub Rosa, by Amber Dawn (Arsenal Pulp Press)

At the heart of Sub Rosa is the main character, who goes by the name Little. Little is a teen runaway who forgets her own name and is lured into an underground world of magical prostitutes — a stunning allegory.

Sub Rosa — Arsenal Pulp Press

Missed Her by Ivan Coyote

Missed Her, by Ivan Coyote (Arsenal Pulp Press)

What can I say about Ivan that hasn’t already been said? Ivan is the Stuart McLean of queer Canada, only less afraid to get raw when it’s called for. Even a cynic like me sheds more than a few tears when reading a new Coyote collection, and Missed Her is no exception. Once again, another greatest hits volume.

Missed Her — Arsenal Pulp Press

Room by Emma Donoghue

Room, by Emma Donoghue (HarperCollins Canada)

Donoghue’s latest book is narrated by a five year old who is the product of his mother’s rape. He lives with his mother in the garden shed where she has been imprisoned for seven years. They plan their escape, and he has to make sense of the world outside the room. It’s one of the most talked-about books of the year and deservedly so.

Room — HarperCollins

Before Nightfall by Michael Cunningham

By Nightfall, by Michael Cunningham (HarperCollins)

By Nightfall is an examination of mid-life from the perspective of a hot-shot SoHo art curator who is happily married to an editor and straining to connect with their 20-something daughter.  Enter his wife’s younger junkie brother, who shows up, disrupts their life and makes them question long-term certainties. Another Cunningham gem.

By Nightfall — HarperCollins


“Zoe Whittall might just be the cockiest, brashest, funniest, toughest, most life-affirming, elegant, scruffy, no-holds-barred writer to emerge from Montreal since Mordecai Richler…” The Globe and Mail

She’s also the books editor of QueeriesMag! To keep up with all the great things Zoe is up to, check out her blog.


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