Tag: curtis sittenfield

New Curtis Sittenfeld novel ‘Rodham’ set for release June 2020

Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel titled Rodham is set to be published in June 2020. The novel explores what would have happened if Hillary Clinton had never married Bill Clinton and the effect on American politics. It looks at what would have happened to the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate had she not been tied to the legacy of her husband Bill Clinton. Rodham is the sixth novel from Sittenfeld who is the best selling author of American Wife


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Rodham imagines the life of a young woman full of promise, Hillary Rodham, who meets a charismatic fellow Yale Law School student named Bill Clinton,” reads the synopsis. “The two find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced.” As she did in real life, Rodham turns down Bill Clinton several times, but does so once and for all in the novel. After this, the two separate and their paths diverge for good. 



Sittenfeld approached this novel asking the question, “What is it like to be her?” Instead of examining her life from the outside, as occurred during the 2016 election, this novel aims to explore what life is truly like as Hillary Rodham. It looks at how different things would be if Rodham had never married Bill Clinton and how that would affect U.S. politics as we know it. Marianne Velmans of Doubleday Publishing said, “In American Wife, as well as some of her wonderful short stories, Curtis has shown a unique talent for writing fiction that throws a light on the lives of women in the political limelight.” 



Sittenfeld’s acclaimed New York Times bestselling novel American Wife was published in 2009. It was longlisted for the Orange Prize, along with her debut novel Prep. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Esquire. Her nonfiction works have appeared in The New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic Slate, and on This American LifeRodham is set for release in summer 2020. The novel will be published by Doubleday Publishing in the U.K. and by Random House Publishing in the U.S.


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The Lohan Twins

5 Books to Read If You Love ‘The Parent Trap’ a Lot…a Lot-a Lot

Can you quote The Parent Trap word-for-word? Did you, like me, live in a country where there is no such thing as two month long residential summer camps in forests, and dream about going to one and finding your long lost twin? Does your father still refer to Lindsay Lohan as ‘the Lohan twins’? The nostalgia of Lohan’s breakthrough movie never wears off, but in order to get you ready for watching it fourteen times, as I know you will, over the coming holiday season, here are five books to read if you LOVE The Parent Trap.


1. Lisa and Lottie by Erich Kästner


Image Via Amazon

Image Via Amazon


This is the book upon which your all-time favorite movie, and the original 1961 adaptation starring Hayley Mills, are actually based! Published in 1949, the book has essentially the same plot as the movies: two little girls meet at summer camp, discover they are twins and hatch a plot to reunite their estranged parents. Kästner, who was German, was a pacifist and he apparently wrote for children because he believed in “the regenerative powers of youth.” He was opposed to Nazism and was interrogated by the Gestapo and excluded from the Nazi-run writers’ guild. His books were burned during the book burning ordered by Josef Goebbels, but he survived the war. He died of natural causes in 1974, at which time the Bavarian Academy of Arts founded a literary prize in his name. Also named after him is the asteroid 12318 Kästner. I read Lisa and Lottie by chance as a kid, having picked up an old copy in a second-hand bookshop, not realizing that it was actually the book that inspired my favorite film. I just thought the plots were weirdly similar and at the time we only had dial up internet so I didn’t actually google it until recently. Ya live, ya learn, eh?


2. Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield


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Image Via Amazon


Twins Kate and Violet have always experienced premonitions. Though Vi embraces her psychic abilities, Kate does her best to ignore them and live a normal life. As adults, both return to their native St. Louis. Vi has become a psychic medium, while Kate has two children and a quiet, suburban life. However, a minor earthquake occurs and Vi is certain another, devastating one is yet to come.


Amazon calls the book “Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking,” saying “Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. With her deep empathy, keen wisdom, and unerring talent for finding the extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most exceptional voices in literary fiction today.”


While this isn’t quite the ‘laugh-a-minute’ precocious-tween extravaganza that The Parent Trap is, it does take a closer, more grown-up look at the power of sisterhood and loyalty, and what it means to share with someone the closeness and intimacy of twinhood. 


3. Sweet Valley High 1: Double Love by Francine Pascal


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Image Via Amazon


Did you love the Sweet Valley High books growing up? Nah, me neither. I never had them, but a lot of people seemed to! So much so that they became New York Times bestsellers and are considered classics. I’m tempted to revisit the youth I never had and embark on the Sweet Valley journey, following twin sisters Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield and all they get up to, or, as the book cover rather hilariously puts it, “their laughter, heartaches, and dreams.”


Elizabeth is sweet and good-natured, while Jessica thinks the world revolves around her. In this book, the first in the series, Jessica sets her sights on Todd, the one boy Elizabeth really likes. While Sisterland is adult literary fiction, Sweet Valley High goes back to the YA vibes of The Parent Trap, encompassing themes of teenage angst, sisterhood and loyalty, much like our beloved movie. 


4. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh


Image Via SLG Blog Network

Image Via SLJ Blog Network


So, Harriet’s not a twin, but she is a precocious tween, partial to more than a little deception, much like The Parent Trap gals. If you haven’t read the book, or seen the 1996 movie starring Michelle Trachtenberg and Rosie O’Donnell, then you really ought. The story follows eleven year old Harriet M. Welsch, an aspiring writer, who, encouraged by her nanny Ole Golly, keeps meticulous notes about her day-to-day life and the people in it in her notebook. She follows a spy route each day, documenting the people she observes such as various shop workers, classmates, and friends. However, Harriet’s ruthless note-taking gets her into hot water. 


5. Wise Children by Angela Carter 


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Image Via Amazon


This is one of my favorite books, and also happens to be about twins. The sisters, Dora and Nora Chance, share a great bond, much like the twins in the movie and have a pretty mad family situation. (Their family tree is actually mapped out on the Wikipedia page for the book, but don’t go there until you’ve read it, for fear of spoilers.) Dora and Nora are former chorus girls who recount the bizarre and hilarious exploits of their tumultuous theatrical family. This was Angela Carter’s last novel and she went out with a bang, employing elements of fairy-tale, magical realism and surrealism in this unique book. Upon her death in 1992, shortly after Wise Children‘s publication, Salman Rushdie wrote an obituary for The New York Times, in which he said:


[Wise Children] is written with her unique brand of deadly cheeriness. It cackles gaily as it impales the century upon its jokes. Like all her works, it is a celebration of sensuality, of life. More particularly, it celebrates wrong-side-of-the-tracksness, and wrong-side-of-the-blanketness too. It is a raspberry blown by South London across the Thames, a paean to bastardy (and the novel is a bastard form, never forget, so novelists must always stand up for bastards). Angela Carter was a thumber of noses, a defiler of sacred cows. She loved nothing so much as cussed — but also blithe — nonconformity. Her books unshackle us, toppling the statues of the pompous, demolishing the temples and commissariats of righteousness. They draw their strength, their vitality, from all that is unright eous, illegitimate, low. They are without equal, and without rival.


Featured Image Via Bustle