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The Blondes

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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.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 16, 2015 – A pandemic of a rabies-like virus is turning blonde women, both natural and bottled, into maniacal killers in this satirical novel from Schultz (Heaven Is Small). In New York City, an eager grad student from Toronto named Hazel Hayes becomes pregnant after a fling with her middle-aged married professor, Karl Mann. Now stuck in a remote Canadian cabin with Grace, Karl’s drunken, possibly deranged mind-game-playing wife, Hazel relates the fragmented stages of her “ugly affair” to the unborn child she initially wanted to terminate. Schultz spares no raunchy, noisome detail about the blonde rampages, the government’s ineptitude in handling the crisis, or Hazel’s maternal angst in this protracted meditation on women who think they’re the only ones who can save someone else’s husband. Not every reader will buy the solution—that women only matter when they’re dangerous. Like dry, brittle, over-peroxided hair, Hazel’s story might look attractive at a casual glance, but up close, those nasty dark roots destroy all the comfortable illusions.

Customer Reviews

A disappointment

I was hoping for something great along the lines of A Handmaid's Tale, and was sorely disappointed. I wish The Blondes had been better. I really do. It could have been so much more in terms of language, character development, and entertainment value. It was lacking in all of the aforementioned categories.

The Blondes
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Aug 14, 2012
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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