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Fiction Literary

The Blondes

by (author) Emily Schultz

Publisher
Doubleday Canada
Initial publish date
Aug 2012
Category
Literary
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780385671057
    Publish Date
    Aug 2012
    List Price
    $29.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780385671071
    Publish Date
    Jun 2013
    List Price
    $19.95

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Description

A breakout novel for a young writer whose last book was shortlisted for the Trillium Prize alongside Anne Michaels and Margaret Atwood, and whom the Toronto Star called a "force of nature."
 
Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City. As the novel opens, she learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random but deadly attacks on passers-by, all by blonde women, are terrorizing New Yorkers. Soon it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange illness that is transforming blondes--whether CEOs, flight attendants, skateboarders or accountants--into rabid killers. 
 
Hazel, vulnerable because of her pregnancy, decides to flee the city--but finds that the epidemic has spread and that the world outside New York is even stranger than she imagined. She sets out on a trip across a paralyzed America to find the one woman--perhaps blonde, perhaps not--who might be able to help her. Emily Schultz's beautifully realized novel is a mix of satire, thriller, and serious literary work. With echoes of Blindness and The Handmaid's Tale amplified by a biting satiric wit, The Blondes is at once an examination of the complex relationships between women, and a merciless but giddily enjoyable portrait of what happens in a world where beauty is--literally--deadly.

About the author

Emily Schultz is the author of the novel Joyland and the short story collection Black Coffee Night. She is the former editor of This Magazine. Her poetry has been published in 18 different publications across Canada, including The Walrus. The Globe and Mail recently called her fiction “mesmerizing.” Schultz lives in Toronto.

Emily Schultz's profile page

Awards

  • Short-listed, Trillium Book Award

Editorial Reviews

Trillium Award Finalist - 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2015

"An engaging, satirical study of our beauty-obsessed society and the idea that looks really can kill." —Chatelaine

"[Schultz] creates a clever, idea-layered landscape of speculative fiction in which she can deposit a very real, complex, somewhat self-absorbed yet ultimately sympathetic character, one who just by looking, feeling and responding to events both extraordinary and banal, speaks to myriad perceptions of women both real and invented." —National Post

"Corrosively humorous commentary on social, sexual and cross-border politics." —Toronto Star

"Sensitive and contemplative. . . . unnerving and sometimes comically macabre. . . . Schultz uses this worldwide calamity to . . . reflect on our tangled definitions of beauty and the life-altering responsibilities of motherhood. . . . A heroine who's also a feminist critic of pop culture is our perfect guide."
?The Washington Post

"Part hysterical dystopia, part coming-of-age story and devastatingly moving throughout . . . So finely realized that you might just rethink summer highlights forever."
—Fashion Magazine

"The story weaves together elements of suspense and satire, with an academic overlay of critical cultural theory, but at its essence it is a fast-paced, unpretentious read. A wash-and-wear cut, if you will. . . . Ultimately, The Blondes is streaked with honest sentiment and a surprisingly feel-good ending: dark enough to have weight, light enough to read at the beach."
The Globe and Mail

“[A] smart new literary thriller. . . . A nail-biter that is equal parts suspense, science fiction, and a funny, dark sendup of the stranglehold of gender.”
?Kirkus Reviews, starred review

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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