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Publisher's Summary

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 GreenwellIt’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 flâneur 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

©2019 Andrea Lawlor (P)2019 Penguin Random House LLC

Critic Reviews

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

What listeners say about Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

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  • Taylor
  • 12-24-19

a beautiful story of being

the narrator's voice takes you on a journey of being. Beautiful, clever and sexy.