The Blondes

by Emily Schultz (Doubleday)

As the coming apocalypse looms, I want to read more books about plagues, mass panic and government abuses of power. So I know what to expect, I guess? Emily Schultz’s The Blondes delivers a cool end of days story with a feminist edge. Hazel Hayes finds out she’s pregnant with her married professor’s baby, just as a global pandemic hits. Women are catching a virus that causes violent psychotic episodes. The commonality between the women affected: they’re all blondes. Hazel is a PhD student in cultural studies, so the implications of a global crises tied to gender and beauty aren’t lost on her. She’s a smart and self aware character, giving the story a post-modern twist, but Schultz delivers genuine tension and thrills without too much irony. In fact, The Blondes is so exciting and cinematic I worry about someone turning this excellent piece of Can Lit into a shitty blockbuster movie. As long as the release date is after 2012, we’ll be OK.

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