SARAH POLLEY OPTIONS ZOE WHITTALL’S BESTSELLING NOVEL THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE

Having optioned Margaret Atwood’s classic book Alias Grace, adapted it, and executive produced it as an upcoming 6 part Netflix/CBC limited series, Sarah Polley has set her sights on her next project.  Polley has optioned Zoe Whittall’s provocative novel THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE.  Polley will write the screenplay and plans to direct the feature film.  The book- in which a local schoolteacher is arrested for a heinous crime, leaving his family to wrestle with the possibility of his guilt- reveals the cracks along the seams of even the most perfect American family.  The book, published by House of Anansi in Canada, was a national bestseller there where it was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, Indigo Best Book of the Year, Heather’s Pick, Globe and Mail Best Book, Toronto Life Best Book of 2016, Walrus Magazine Best Book of 2016.  It will be published in the US by Ballantine Random House in the Fall.

Having started her career as an actress in films such as Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter, Zack Snyder’s Dawn Of The Dead, and Doug Limon’s Go, Sarah Polley has since emerged as one of the most interesting and versatile directors of her generation.  Her films include Away From Her, which won both Polley and its star Julie Christie Academy Award nominations, Take This Waltz starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, and most recently the innovative Stories We Tell which won the Los Angeles Film Critic’s Award for Best Documentary.  She’s repped by WME, Circle of Confusion, Canada-based Gary Goddard Agency and Jackoway Tyerman, Wertheimer.

Zoe Whittall’s previous novel, HOLDING STILL FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, won a 2011 Lambda Literary Award and was an honour book for the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award. Her debut novel, BOTTLE ROCKET HEARTS, was named a Globe and Mail Top 100 and made the CBC Canada Reads Top Ten Essential Novels of the decade. Her third poetry book, Precordial Thump, was nominated for a ReLit Award. She won the 2016 KM Hunter Award for Literature, and the Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Award in 2008. Fashion Magazine recently named her one of ten favourite feminist role models. Her writing has appeared in The Believer, The Walrus, The Globe & Mail, among others. Whittall lives in Toronto where she has written for the television shows Degrassi, The Baroness Von Sketch Show, Schitt’s Creek, and Crawford. She’s repped by Paradigm on behalf of Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic Agency.

Full press release here: Hollywoodreporter.com/news/

THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE revealed as Indigo’s #1 Pick of the Year!

WZBestPeoplecovIndigo announces THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE (House of Anansi Press) by Zoe Whittall is their #1 Pick of the Year, the very first book ever to be given this special designation! Congratulations Zoe!

In THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE by Zoe Whittall, George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?

With exzwhittallquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth and the meaning of happiness through the lend of all-American family on the brink of collapse.

To learn more about the Indigo #1 Pick of the Year, please visit Chapters.indigo.ca//best-of-2016

The Best Kind of People and Yiddish for Pirates Shortlisted for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize

zwhittallThe 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist has been announced today, and we are delighted to Barwin2014bwcongratulate Zoe Whittall on being shortlisted for her novel THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE (House of Anansi Press) and Gary Barwin on his nomination for YIDDISH FOR PIRATES (Random House Canada)! Selected from a longlist of 12 books, the jury members Lawrence Hill (jury chair), Jeet Heer, Kathleen Winter, Samantha Harvey and Alan Warner originally read a staggering 161 books submitted by 69 publisher imprints from every region of the country in order to reach their decision.

In TWZBestPeoplecovHE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE by Zoe Whittall, George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?

With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth and the meaning of happiness through the lend of all-American family on the brink of collapse.

YIBGYiddishbannercovDDISH FOR PIRATES by Gary Barwin is a brilliant novel filled with Jewish takes on classic pirate tales – fights, prison escapes, and exploits on the high seas – but it’s also a tender love story. Rich with puns, colourful language, post-colonial satire and Kabbalistic hijinks, YIDDISH FOR PIRATES is also a compelling examination of mortality, memory, identity and persecution, from one of this country’s most talented writers.

Jury Citations:

YIDDISH FOR PIRATES: Across time and across continents, Gary Barwin’s novel “parrots” in an altogether new way. In a ferment of salty witticism, parroty puns and unforgettable Yiddish vocabulary, this is a novel borne not just on the wings of its feathery narrator, but on its own jubilant and alluring language; its own voice. Playful, mocking, using history with audacious abandon, Yiddish for Pirates is a resplendent enjoyment. But, literally viewed from above, the novel also admonishes us about man’s inexhaustible zeal for butchery, for incessant genocide, and for affliction. We have had animal narrators throughout literary history, but Aaron the African grey parrot, from the shoulder of his pirate master, will lift you to new heights.

THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE: The jury found Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People urgent and timely, nuanced and brave. This gripping story challenges how we hear women and girls, and dissects the self-hypnosis and fear that prevent us from speaking disruptive truth. With subversive precision and solid veracity, Whittall calls into question pervasive forms of silence and acquiescence.

The winner will be announced on November 7th, 2016. For venue and ticket information, please visit: Scotiabankgillerprize.ca.

To view the full shortlist and to read excerpts from the books, please visit www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/finalists/2016-shortlist/.

THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE AND YIDDISH FOR PIRATES LONGLISTED FOR THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

It is with great joy that we announce that Zoe Whittall’s THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE (House of Anansi) and Gary Barwin’s YIDDISH FOR PIRATES (Random House Canada) have been longlisted for this year’s prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize – two of 12 longlisted titles! Each year The Scotiabank Giller Prize strives to acknowledge the best in Canadian fiction. An esteemed five-member panel selected this longlist from 161 submitted novels, they say “The quality and depth of Canadian fiction made it challenging to select the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.”

WZBestPeoplecovTHE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE by Zoe Whittall – George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?

With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth and the meaning of       happiness through the lend of all-American family on the brink of collapse.

Barw_Yiddish_comp-r6-1YIDDISH FOR PIRATES by Gary Barwin is a brilliant novel filled with Jewish takes on classic pirate tales – fights, prison escapes, and exploits on the high seas – but it’s also a tender love story. Rich with puns, colourful language, post-colonial satire and Kabbalistic hijinks, YIDDISH FOR PIRATES is also a compelling examination of mortality, memory, identity and persecution, from one of this country’s most talented writers.

The winner will be announced on November 7th, 2016. For venue and ticket information, please visit: Scotiabankgillerprize.ca

For more information on The Scotiabank Giller Prize please visit: Scotiabankgillerprize.ca/longlist

Congratulations to Zoe Whittall and Gary Barwin, as well as the other longlisted authors!

The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall Publishes

WZBestPeoplecovHappy Book Birthday to Zoe Whittall, whose novel THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE publishes with House of Anansi Press today! We’ve already seen some phenomenal press and are very proud to share the round-up below.

 

 

 

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THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE featured in Quill & Quire : www.quillandquire.com/authors/profile-zoe-whittalls-timely-new-novel-shows-her-to-be-a-writer-who-defies-easy-categorization/

Among The Globe and Mail‘s 20 most anticipated books of 2016: www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/the-most-anticipated-canadian-books-of-the-second-half-of-2016/article30726273/

Featured in the CBC Books Fall 2016 Preview: www.cbc.ca/books/fallbooks2016/index.html

One of 5 books that CBC Books was excited to read in August!: www.cbc.ca/books/2016/08/5-books-we-cant-wait-to-read-in-august.html

Check out an excerpt of THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE from The Globe and Mail!:  www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/summer-reading-a-preview-of-zoe-whittalls-new-novel-the-best-kind-of-people/article31386782/

Rave Reviews and Praise

“Zoe Whittall is one of our sharpest observers of modern life, and it’s been seven years since her last novel – far too long. In The Best Kind of People, a Connecticut family is rocked to its core when sexual-assault accusations are levelled against the father, George, a popular teacher at the local private school. Whittall’s third novel interrogates the idea of family, and whether we must always stand by the people we love.” – The Globe and Mail

“Heartbreaking and complex, The Best Kind of People offers no easy answers. This is a masterly exploration of the damage an entire community incurs when the secret at the heart of its most perfect family detonates.” – Lynn Coady, author of The Antagonist

“With incredibly rare nuance, sensitivity, and insight, Zoe Whittall takes us deep into our contemporary conversation around sexual violence and shines a vital spotlight on the individuals and communities that live in its long shadow. Whittall’s undisputed talent as a writer shines, as does her understanding into the complexity of our sympathies, our morality, and our humanity. With The Best Kind of People, Whittall has created an urgent and timely document, one that asks us to reflect on how we can best serve survivors of abuse and best support all of those who exist in its aftermath. With incredible empathy, and undeniable skill, this book is sure to spark much needed dialogue, vital debate, and richly deserved acclaim.” – Stacey May Fowles, author of Infidelity

“The Best Kind of People examines the effects of rape culture on an entire community with rare nuance and insight. Every character is fully rounded, flawed, and achingly human. It puts me in mind of a twenty-first-century Ordinary People — which, for the record, is one of my favourite novels.” – Kate Harding, author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture — and What We Can Do About It

Rights Sold: House of Anansi Press, World