Praise & Reviews

“I have always been amazed by the novelist Curtis Sittenfeld’s talent for selecting people who we think we already know and convincing us that they are far more complicated and interesting than we ever dreamed….[I was] riveted by Sittenfeld’s brave, passionate, and diligent heroine navigating lust, ambition, Arkansas, the Ivy League, and, of course, Washington. Sittenfeld’s writing is so fine, her characters so vivid, her empathy so profound that she manages to absorb the reader on a level that transcends partisanship. In 2020, that was a remarkable achievement and an enormous gift to her readers.”
Ariel Levy, The New Yorker

“Rodham is something of a rarity in American publishing….a high-profile novel — not a parody or a joke book, but a serious work of literary fiction — designed to rally the political spirits of liberal readers….As a study of sexism and American politics, Rodham is rich. But as a character study, it knows everything.”
Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“I kept losing track, as I read, of what kind of novel it was and of whether or not I approved….I went into the novel thinking the entire premise was crass and came out of it thoroughly entertained….The action is all highly enjoyable – including a killer cameo appearance by Donald Trump – and, whether or not you buy the political fantasy, as a novel it is a delight. It’s an irony of the book that, while seeking to rescue Hillary from caricature, it ends up being a kind of love letter to a type: the American bluestocking and female intellectual, who is given none of the licence of her less talented male peers. At the end, which I won’t spoil, I actually said out loud: ‘Oh, my God’ – and, to my amazement, found myself moved.”
Emma Brockes, The Guardian

“Rodham is a nauseating, moving, morally suggestive, technically brilliant book that made me think more than any other in recent memory about the aims and limits of fiction….If this impersonation feels uncanny, even parasitic, it is. (It is also not the first time Sittenfeld has done it: The protagonist of 2008’s American Wife was modeled on Laura Bush.) At the same time, it feels less exploitative than some of the ostensible nonfiction written about Clinton. She has been so fictionalized, warped and weaponized by pundits and journalists to fit their chosen narratives that straightforward fiction is almost reassuring in its aims: Only one of these mediums acknowledges its own artifice.”
Annalisa Quinn, NPR

“Sittenfeld’s avidly anticipated new novel, Rodham, mines a similar vein [as American Wife], though it is more daring, seductive, and provocative. Commandingly narrated by one Hillary Rodham, and laced with true-to-life people and facts, this exhilaratingly trenchant, funny, and affecting tale nonetheless pivots smartly away from reality…Sittenfeld creates a vibrant and consequential alternative life for Hillary, rendered with shrewd and magnetizing specificity as the author dramatizes the sexism petty and threatening that Hillary confronts at every turn, while also offering unusual insights into the difficult-to-balance quests for racial and gender equality…A gloriously cathartic antidote.”
Booklist (Starred Review)

“Sittenfeld movingly captures Hillary’s awareness of her transformation into a complicated public figure…Readers won’t have to be feminists (though it would help) to relish Sittenfeld’s often funny, mostly sympathetic, and always sharp what-if.
Publishers Weekly