Now that Hillary Clinton has lost the 2016 presidential election, written her latest memoir, and made dozens of appearances to promote her book, people are asking: What’s next?
While Clinton has yet to answer the question — or perhaps even decide her next venture — romance novel author Lisa Kleypas wants her to understand her even larger role.
In a Friday article for The Washington Post, Kleypas not only asked Clinton to rethink her disdain for romance novels, she went one step further. As the author sees it, Clinton herself is a romance novel heroine.
In an open letter to Clinton, Kleypas noted that both Clinton and daughter Chelsea love the Jane Austen classic, “Pride and Prejudice.”
Chelsea made the observation during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. (Though the transcript actually shows she was talking about the movie version.)
In the article, titled “Hillary, please don’t reject romance novels — you are a romance novel heroine,” Kleypas compared Clinton to “Pride and Prejudice” protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, whom she described as:
[I]ntelligent, articulate, independent and wonderfully imperfect. She is also an incredibly unconventional character for her time, placing a high value on her own happiness, insisting that others treat her with respect and marrying a man only on her terms.
“No wonder Darcy falls in love with her,” she added.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
“So how disappointing it was to hear you mischaracterize ‘the whole romance novel industry’ in a recent interview with Washington Post editorial board member Jonathan Capehart,” Kleypas lamented.
In the interview, Clinton dismissed romance novels as being about “women being grabbed and thrown on a horse and ridden off into the distance.”
Nonetheless, Kleypas, who described herself in the article as “a Wellesley graduate (Clinton’s undergrad alma mater) who has always loved and admired you,” persisted.
The author contrasted Clinton with Victorian era women, whom, she said, were “idealized beings who belonged in the house” and were “supposed to go from motherhood to maidenhood.”
They were expected to be “demure, virtuous and sexless, placed on a pedestal so high that their voices could never be heard,” she added.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
As Kleypas began to wrap up the open letter, she reminded Clinton of the “legendary” commencement speech she delivered at Wellesley in 1969, quoting part of the speech: “Fear is always with us but we just don’t have time for it. Not now.”
“You headed forward fearlessly and achieved so many of your dreams, including love, marriage and family,” she gushed, adding:
“This is why I consider you an honorary romance novel heroine — no pedestal required, just a pantsuit.”
Incidentally, for those left wondering “what might’ve been,” as IJR previously reported, a British company is selling Clinton tree-topper ornaments this year — just in time for Christmas.