The Blondes

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.

Reviews

Trillium Award Finalist - 2013


“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