A novel scheduled to be published in May explores an idea that might have changed the course of U.S. history: What if Hillary Rodham had decided not to marry Bill Clinton?
“Rodham” is political fiction by Curtis Sittenfeld, an author who previously wrote “American Wife,” an imagined story about former first lady Laura Bush, and “The Nominee,” a short story about Hillary Clinton that helped inspire the idea for the newest work.
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“There were countless pieces analyzing Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the 2016 election, and I found myself thinking not about how she looks to all of us, but how all of us look to her,” Sittenfeld told The Guardian in February. “Instead of examining her from the outside and determining what she ‘means’, I approached this novel with the question, ‘What is it like to be her?’”
The story, according to People, imagines what Hillary Rodham’s life would have been like if it hadn’t been linked to that of her husband, whom she met at Yale and later followed as he became governor of Arkansas and later the 42nd president of the United States – and then stood by as he was impeached following his affair with a White House intern.
Instead, the novel shows Rodham becoming a U.S. senator from her home state of Illinois (instead of New York, as in real life), and later competes against Bill Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to Publishers Weekly.
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Donald Trump, who defeated Clinton in the real 2016 presidential election, appears in the novel – but exactly how the fictional Trump interacts with the fictional Rodham has not been disclosed.