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The Blondes

St. Martin’s Thomas Dunne Winter 2015


–Margaret Atwood, @margaretatwood

“Like the literary love child of Naomi Wolf and Stephen King, The Blondes examines our cultural attitudes about beauty through the lens of a post-9/11, high-alert nightmare. The result is a spellbinding brew, both satirical and deeply satisfying.”

—Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and the Jinni

“An energetic, startling novel. Emily Schultz is a writer with a deadly sense of humor. You laugh one moment, you’re frightened the next. As unsettling as it is funny, The Blondes had me hooked from an early line: The neighbors have finished burning the hair… How could anybody not read on from there?”

—Peter Orner, author of Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge

“Sharp and fluid and legitimately disturbing. A thinking person’s apocalyptic nailbiter.”

– Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

The Blondes is intelligent, mesmerizing, and fearless. An entirely original and beautifully twisted satire with a heart of darkness.”

– Emily St. John Mandel, author of The Lola Quartet

“At once weird and grounded, fizzily comic and satirically serious, The Blondes takes you by surprise and keeps on surprising.  Emily Schultz has a point-of-view all her own, and knows how to use it.”
– Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist

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, students or accountants—into rabid killers.

With echoes of White Noise and 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.


“Emily Schultz gives new meaning to the term ‘femme fatale’ in her apocalyptic, darkly satirical new novel….It’s Schultz’s vivid portrayal of the crisis itself and the public response to it that makes The Blondes such a gripping and unsettling story. Though based on an outlandish, even comic, premise, it’s a scarily realistic state of affairs.” The Toronto Star

“Both a realist narrative about loneliness, insecurities and maternal anxieties and a fantastical, not quite allegorical tale of a semi-apocalypse. It’s a testament to author Emily Schultz’s immense gifts with tone, detail and the crafting of a compelling first-person voice that this novel is never less than engaging.” The National Post

“[The Blondes] 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. Bounced through threats that feel creepily familiar, off-kilter in the way of Atwoodian speculative fiction, Hazel emerges as an everywoman, and a survivor.” The Globe and Mail

“The novel is part metaphor for racism, part commentary on epidemic-related paranoia and part sly look at manufactured beauty. But within these lofty themes are fascinating characters in intriguing relationships. NNNN” Now Magazine

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

Read more about The Blondes here.

Heaven Is Small

2009, House of Anansi (Canada)

2010, House of Anansi/PGW (US)

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Heaven Is Small

Praise for Heaven Is Small

Schultz’s latest is a satire of office life, romance novels, and afterlife narratives. She has accomplished something quite remarkable here…
—Publishers Weekly

Heaven is Small is confident, disturbing and clever reeling us along, prodding us to notice the lame trappings of what we call living…. Schultz’s voice is stronger than ever, her storytelling tighter and her writing still replete with those trademark ziplines, surprising little protons of description that vault the reader into Schultz’s unique narrative universe.
—Globe and Mail

Schultz has created a delightful cast of lost souls . . . Heaven is Small is a keen examination of life and the afterlife, brimming with intelligence and wit.
—Quill & Quire

Heaven Is Small [is] a stunning, often surprising read with moments of such audacity that the reader is likely to gasp out loud. . . . Schultz is an impressive talent . . . creating something new, something unique. The result is bold and winning, the sort of novel that satisfies on every level while managing to leave the reader with an afterglow of questions and observations.
—Vancouver Sun

Emily Schultz is one of those forces of nature that propels a literary scene.
—Toronto Star

Heaven Is Small is a Kafkaesque tale…
—The Hour

Schultz manages to channel the utter absurdity of romance novels and the workplace into a mostly charming book about someone who is just trying to make a difference, even if they missed the opportunity while they were alive…. A well-written meditation on how we choose to live our lives, and who we choose to live them for.

Heaven Is Small is both a love story and a biting book-world comedy, in which Schultz skewers with equal fondness genre publishers, literary magazines and slickly marketed fiction stars… Gordon’s workaday afterlife — with its bagged lunches, gossip and ghostly commuter culture — is drawn in hilarious and poignant detail.
—North Shore News (Vancouver)

Gordon Small, the hero of this smart, deadpan novel by Toronto’s Emily Schultz, makes the same mistake Bruce Willis did in The Sixth Sense: he fails to notice that he’s dead.
—Georgia Straight

Toronto author and poet Emily Schultz excels at creating intricate, beautifully drawn worlds, encapsulated like snow globes…. Heaven is Small is a funny but heartbreaking story about the publishing industry, the disconnect between authors and their readers…
—The Coast (Halifax)



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