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Emily Schultz’s blonde ambition

In the July/August issue of Q&Q, Vit Wagner speaks to author Emily Schultz about her third novel, The Blondes.

(Photo: Brian Joseph Davies)

Emily Schultz has been a steadily rising star in the Canadian literary firmament since the publication a decade ago of her debut, Black Coffee Night, a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for a first book of short fiction.

Since then, Schultz has published a poetry collection and two novels, all to positive notice. Upon the release of her first novel, 2005’s Joyland, she was hailed in The Globe and Mail as one of tomorrow’s Ondaatjes and Munros, a forecast that seemed prescient when, in 2010, Schultz’s second novel, Heaven Is Small, was a Trillium Book Award finalist on a list that included fiction by Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, and Anne Michaels.

It’s no surprise, then, that expectations are ramping up in advance of Schultz’s forthcoming third novel, The Blondes, which shoulders the added freight of being the author’s first for a major multinational publisher, Doubleday Canada (a division of Random House of Canada).

I felt more pressure to try to get it right this time, Schultz allows. I felt I needed to be less self-indulgent. There are things we like to do as writers that are sometimes bad habits. With this book I tried to weed out more of my bad habits.

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