Emily Schultz

Emily Schultz

Emily Schultz  is the co-founder of the literary journal Joyland and the host of the podcast Truth & Fiction. Her novel, Heaven Is Small, was released from House of Anansi Press in May 2009 in Canada, and in the U.S. in October 2010. Heaven Is Small was named a finalist for the 2010 Trillium Book Award alongside books by Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro. Schultz’s newest novel, The Blondes, was released from Doubleday Canada in August 2012, became a national bestseller and was been nominated for a 2013 Trillium Award alongside Alice Munro and Tamara Faith Berger. It was published in the U.S. in 2015 by St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne to rave reviews.  It was chosen a top book of the year by both Kirkus and NPR and has been optioned for television.

Her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Elle, Today’s Parent, Eye Weekly, the Walrus, the Black Warrior Review, Prism, Geist, Event, Descant, New Quarterly, Cell Stories, the Fanzine, At Length, and several anthologies. She has worked as an editor and as a creative writing instructor.She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Brian Joseph Davis. Together, they write scripts.

Photo Credit: Sara Maria Salamone



Men Walking on Water (Doubleday Canada, 2017) – In the last years of Prohibition, Alfred Moss is a smalltime rumrunner. On a cold night driving across the frozen Detroit River he disappears. Escaping with him is all the cash and last hopes of his friends.

With the elegant grit of Graham Greene and symbolic sweep of Michael Chabon, Emily Schultz captures the champagne haze between expansion and collapse, between endings and beginnings. Men Walking on Water is an epic story of a country torn between pleasure and abstinence.

“Beautiful and timeless… [Men Walking on Water] is smart and refreshing.” Globe and Mail

“A terrifically devised and thoroughly entertaining caper…The characters on these pages are hustlers, and deception emerges as a dominant theme because of how common it was then to break the law.” National Post

“Men Walking on Water tells a complex and languidly vivid story of a ragtag crew of 1920s rum-runners in Prohibition-era Detroit…I knew when I turned the final page that Schultz had accomplished something great, had proven there was nothing she couldn’t do.” Toronto Star

“Men Walking on Water [is] a witty, suspense-filled epic about the waning days of Prohibition. Schultz spins the tale into a sweeping story of American ideals on the cusp of the Great Depression.” Toronto Life


 SETheBlondesCov2The Blondes The Blondes A strange illness transforms blondes – whether CEOs, flight attendants, skateboarders or accountants – into rabid killers.
(Canada: Doubleday, 2012, US: Thomas Dunne Books 2015, Picador 2016; French – Editions Alto; Turkey: Ayrinti)Shortlist, 2013 Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic
Finalist, 2013 Trillium Book AwardPraise for THE BLONDES:
“The Blondes is scary and deeply, bitingly funny — a satire about gender that kept me reading until 4 in the morning — and a fine addition to the all-too-small genre of feminist horror.” NPR (Also a Great Reads 2015 selection)“A nail-biter that is equal parts suspense, science fiction, and a funny, dark sendup of the stranglehold of gender.” Kirkus Reviews , Best Books of 2015“Funny, horrific, and frighteningly realistic, Schultz’s second novel is a must read.” The Library Journal (starred)“[A] ferociously clever, exceedingly well written variation on the pandemic novel…This canny, suspenseful, acidly observant satire cradles an intimate, poignant, and hilarious story of one lonely, stoic, young mother-to-be caught up in surreal and terrifying situations.” Booklist (starred)

“Schultz spins an eerie tale with perspective into our cultural attitudes about beauty.” Entertainment Weekly

“What sounds like George Romero with a bottle of peroxide is surprisingly sensitive and contemplative… As classic blonde jokes acquire deadly hues, the novel’s satiric color remains subtle.” Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“A pseudo zombie-tale…a road story, and a feminist bildungsroman, and a parable about prejudice and reproductive freedom and immigration.” Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times


Heaven is Small Recently deceased Gordon Small finds himself employed at the Heaven Book Company, the world’s largest romance publisher. (House of Anansi, 2009) World Rights Available Ex: Canada: House of Anansi

Spring 2009, lead fiction Finalist, 23rd Annual Trillium Book Award

Gordon Small, a degree-clutching slacker and failed fiction writer, is recently deceased. This satirical novel begins with Gordon’s death, “an event he would fail to notice.” But when Gordon suddenly finds himself employed at the Heaven Book Company — the world’s largest romance publisher — he does notice that things are definitely odder than in most suburban office blocks.”Schultz manages to channel the utter absurdity of romance novels and the workplace into a mostly charming book about someone who is just trying to make a difference, even if they missed the opportunity while they were alive…. A well-written meditation on how we choose to live our lives, and who we choose to live them for.”
—Verbicide Full review “Schultz’s latest is a satire of office life, romance novels, and afterlife narratives. She has accomplished something quite remarkable here…”
—Publishers Weekly”A young writer dubbed promising for her first three books, Schultz now keeps that promise: Heaven is Small is confident, disturbing and clever reeling us along, prodding us to notice the lame trappings of what we call living…. Schultz’s voice is stronger than ever, her storytelling tighter and her writing still replete with those trademark ziplines, surprising little protons of description that vault the reader into Schultz’s unique narrative universe.”
—Globe and Mail”Schultz has created a delightful cast of lost souls . . . Heaven is Small is a keen examination of life and the afterlife, brimming with intelligence and wit.”
—Quill & Quire”. . . captivating . . . hilarious . . . seems tailor-made for a Hollywood adaptation.”

Joyland Joyland Joyland is a novel of digital darkness and light, about the impossibility of knowing the future.with illustrations by graphic novelist Nate PowellWorld Rights Available Ex:
World English: ECW Press (Canada) – April 2006″Schultz’s prose is mesmerizing.”
—Globe and Mail”A stellar novel… In Joyland, Schultz uses games as a foil for the t errifying morass of teenage-hood: the wary battles between friends, the vulnerability of your vessel, the muddled sensuality—the way you still feel the warmth of the last player’s hand on the arcade joystick.”
—January Magazine”A classic coming-of-age story… a book that is a joyful, compelling read at every level.”
—Books in Canada”Admirable.”
—Quill & Quire”Schultz proves she has the kind of honesty and talent to earn the high score in the CanLit arcade.”
—Vancouver Sun”Small-town children of the 80s will relish the uniquely resonant moments of the time, which Schultz paints perfectly in this captivating first novel.”
—Now Magazine, NNNN”[In Joyland] quiet perceptions build to a powerful evocation of a time of chilling insecurity: adolescence reshuffling the kids’ cliques with Darwinian ferocity, Ronald Reagan ruling the larger world…. Truly, deeply real.”
—The Georgia Straight”Joyland captures the confusion of adolescent sexuality in a tangle of pixelated icons via the video-game generation.”


OutskirtsWomen Writing from Small Placesas editor
(Sumach Press, 2002)


Michael Moore (ECW Press, 2005)


Songs for the Dancing Chicken Inspired by the films and life of Werner Herzog
(ECW Press, 2007)Longlist, 2008 ReLit Award, Poetry
Shortlisted, 21st Annual Trillium Book Award for Poetry, English Finalist “Schultz’s work tends to be dark and unsettling, with a sardonic outlook on human folly…. striking.”
—Toronto Star “[Songs for the Dancing Chicken] resonates with the subtle poignancy of skillful absurdism and humor.”
—Pop Matters “Ecstatic hyper-lyrical language that knows beauty can be built but also abandoned.”
—Georgia Straight “Schultz writes to swagger and swaggers when she writes…. She is so confident and “serioso,” so dead-on and unshrugging.”
—Prairie Fire “One might add Schultz to the group of neo-surrealists in the tradition of Dean Young for the way her poems make surprising leaps and turns.”
—Canadian Literature “Many of Schultz’s poems share with Charles Simic’s a proclivity for the surreal…. Songs for the Dancing Chicken is a remarkable debut volume.”
—The Fiddlehead “Schultz has a knack for the right words, regardless of genre.”
—Winnipeg Free Press, What’s on Winnipeg

Short Fiction

Black Coffee Night(Insomniac Press, 2002)Shortlisted, Danuta Gleed Award for Best First Fiction
Shortlisted, ReLit Award

Selected Praise

A compressed burst of sadness and wonder…. This is fiction that seduces. — Toronto Star Breathtaking spikes and heart-rending complexities…
Now Magazine Canadian literature can sometimes remind you of things you keep in your medicine cabinet…. The medicine cabinet is not where you should keep Emily Schultz’s first collection of short stories, Black Coffee Night….
CBC Radio