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Paul Takes the Form of A Mortal Girl
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Paul Takes the Form of A Mortal Girl (Hardback)

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Synopsis

'Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is quite simply one of the most exciting - and one of the most fun - novels of the decade.' Garth Greenwell



It's 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a lesbian best friend, makes zines, and is a flaneur with a rich dating life. But Paul's also got a secret: he's a shapeshifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather cub, Women's Studies major to trade, Paul transforms his body at will in a series of adventures that take him from Iowa City to Boystown to Provincetown and finally to San Francisco - a journey through the deep queer archives of struggle and pleasure.



Andrea Lawlor's debut novel offers a speculative history of early 90s identity politics during the heyday of ACT UP and Queer Nation. Paul Takes the Form of A Mortal Girl is a riotous, razor-sharp bildungsroman whose hero/ine wends his way through a world gutted by loss, pulsing with music, and opening into an array of intimacy and connections.



'Playful, sexy, smart, and like nothing else I -or you - have ever read before.' Carmen Maria Machado

Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publication Date: 18/04/2019 ISBN-13: 9781529007664  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Andrea Lawlor lives in Western Massachusetts and teaches writing at Mount Holyoke College. Lawlor is a fiction editor for Fence and the author of a chapbook, Position Papers (Factory Hollow Press, 2016). Paul Takes The Form of A Mortal Girl is their debut novel.

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Staff Choice

 

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is Andrea Lawlor’s super hot debut novel. In good old 1993, we follow the dating adventures of Paul, as he goes through life making zines, tending at a gay bar and listening to mix-tapes. Paul is also a shapeshifter. From skinny girl, to butch boy, Paul morphs his way around Iowa City living life to the full, trying on identities and becoming whatever and whoever anyone (including himself) wants him to be. Riot Grrrls and older men fall at Paul's feet, all dying to glimpse what lies under that shifting shell.

Set parallel to the rise of the ACT UP movement, this liberating meditation on queerness and what it means to desire and be desired doesn't shy away from the highs and lows of living in 90s gay America. Lawlor's work embraces and celebrates queer culture, music and lives with passion and flair.

Andrea Lawlor has created a lemon sharp, witty, smutty and completely delightful first novel, with a lead character that I just fell in love with from the off and continue to think about still. All set against a gorgeously realised 90s West Coast America that sparks and shimmers, with a soundtrack that will make you want to reach for your old mix-tapes with glee. This pulsing and glimmering book takes you by surprise with its tenderness and is a glorious celebration of queerness. My favourite book this year.

Matt, Web Team

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 09/04/2019

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