Why I shaved my head: Thoughts on Schultz’s “The Blondes”

Whoo! I just breezed right through this one. It was easy to read, quirky, and apocalyptic as hell. Get it? Apocalyptic as HELL. Guffaw!

Written by Canadian author, Emily Schultz, the novel is about a young woman currently living in New York City, Hazel Hayes, who had an affair with her married professor and finds out she’s pregnant. To complicate things even more, all of a sudden blonde women all over the world start randomly and viciously attacking people. It seems that there is an epidemic that only affects blonde women, turning them into rabid killers. As you would expect, it is featured all over the news; people become paranoid– shaving their heads, dying their hair, wearing masks, treating all blonde women and basically most women like they are pariahs. When Hazel tries to escape New York to go back to Toronto, she witnesses some horrifying things and is severely affected by how the world is dealing with the pandemic.

It’s a creative and strange story and written so well that it’s hard to put down. As I was reading it, and even after, I wasn’t able to shake off the apocalyptic world that Schultz created. I found I was checking my Twitter and Facebook feeds and for a brief moment feeling surprised that people weren’t writing about this Blonde plague. I started to feel a little paranoid myself. Maybe it’s because I’ve been cooped up in my apartment for 5 days with a viral infection, but I definitely regret shaving my hair and de-friending all my blonde friends from Facebook. Guffaw!

I’m sure I could say more intelligent things about this; pontificating on theories of beauty and gender, examining disease paranoia… but I’d much rather go play Fruit Ninja on my iPhone. M’kay?

Anyway, give this one a try. You won’t regret it. I also recommend Schultz’s first book, “Heaven is Small,” which is also very unique and quirky. She came to the Kingston Writer’s Fest a few years ago where I saw her read and was captivated.

Happy readings to all!


Library Lyndsey


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