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Curtis Sittenfeld: If Hillary had aced the election, ‘I think I wouldn’t have penned Rodham.

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It isn’t easy to have an affection for Bill Clinton these days. The former president of America was considered charming once – some would even say a charismatic attraction. But now he is 73, & the movement  #MeToo gave everyone a diverse perspective of his indulgence with a young 22year-old intern at the White House. Adding to it his resultant accusation on charges for lying & impediment of justice, & Bill seems to be an improbable choice in the unconscious love interest class.

Bill Clinton is, well, flamboyant at the opening of Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest novel. He is young, funny, kind & witty. He is also charming, good-looking & in deep love with Hillary Rodham his girlfriend.

Very soon enough this Bill’s shadier nature is exposed, & – this is not a spoiler, however, rather the foundation for the book – Hillary does not wed him.

The book Rodham was developed into one among the greatest expected novels of that year, the time its idea was revealed in 2017. Here, Sittenfeld revisits history, visualizing Hillary Rodham’s lifetime without becoming a Clinton.

It is not a first time that Sittenfeld, whose debut Prep in 2005 had developed into the cult classic, found motivation in the former first lady of America. In the year 2008, her book American Wife depicted the fiction lifetime about Laura Bush for extensive critical commendation. Around 8 years after arrived Eligible, a contemporary reiterating of Pride & Prejudice which was set up in Ohio. And when it was time to start work on Rodham, already Sittenfeld knew well in advance how to efficaciously derive from a prevailing narrative.

Image Source : Town and Country magazine

However, remaking the history of 2016 Democratic candidate, particularly within Trump’s America, appears a bit of dodgier initiative – though Sittenfeld herself labels it in such a way that makes it seem like a nearly modest task. “I made the choice to pen the novel, & then I also had to go through some issues, like whether I am going to put actual names? Yes. I am, Especially for the important individuals,” she explains while on a phone discussion from her own home at Minneapolis, Minnesota. “However, once I made those choices, I was simply moving ahead. I did not reconsider many of my choices.”

Rodham commenced with a brief narrative. In the year 2016, the editor of Esquire inquired Sittenfeld, whether she likes to write on something told from Hillary Clinton’s standpoint as she emerges as the foremost female nominee within the American presidential contest. The chronicle labeled The Nominee, entered in 2016 May. It became a reality 2 months after, in 2016 July, when the actual Clinton acknowledged the Democratic proposal.

Then 2016 election series went on, & something fascinating began to happen “During the period of election, I came to a realisation that school kids had known that Hillary was contesting for president literally did not realise that there was a Bill Clinton,” Sittenfeld points out. “It was kind of captivating to me, particularly post-election, to realise how the results might’ve been dissimilar if grownups saw Bill & Hillary as distinct the way children do.”

Rodham wouldn’t have taken form, had America voted a 2nd President Clinton,. “I don’t contemplate I would’ve brought out this novel if she had conquered the election,” adds Sittenfeld. “And for whatever happened, I wouldn’t have inscribed a straightforward reiteration of 2016 election.”

Going through the novel, it is apprehensible that it’s a work of the writer who felt obliged to prove logic of a substitute narrative & to enjoy the authority of “What if?” that updates our opinion of what emerged. “I assume in few ways that is one among the special & wonderful and enigmatic things on fiction, which could be warm in several ways that interview cannot be, or any work of reference usually cannot be,” she opines. “But to clarify, it’s a work of imagination & creativity, & it isn’t Hillary’s biography. I haven’t encountered her. I view it as an imaginative experiment.”

On phone, Sittenfeld seemed poised & courteous. She deliberates writing, in particular way that imitates her knowledge and expertise in the area, though she is also eager to admit the more stimulating features of her labor. With the work on Rodham, she seemed “even  more concerned” on attaining the conclusion of the text than more about what folks – including Clinton– might think of the final product.

“I respect Hillary, however my primary objective wasn’t about writing a book which would commend me to Clinton or possibly end up in meeting her,” remarks Sittenfeld. “I supposed, ‘I simply want to materialise the decisions which I feel serves this story & make it composite & entertaining and lively. I feel that to a certain extent when you are writing a book, whatever it is, you’ve to intrude into the ecosphere of the book & try to implement your own dream. And after that people are permitted to respond however they retort.”

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Diksha

Diksha Dutt is a coder, blogger, and teacher. Apart from blogging, she is an avid reader and a travel enthusiast. Thanks for stopping by and getting to know her.

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