Vintage, 2019



"The shape-shifting protagonist of this sex-filled magic-realist novel, twenty-two-year-old Paul Polydoris, belongs to “all the genders,” able to change his body at will. Exploring the malleability of gender and desire, and paying homage to Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,” the book follows Paul—sometimes Polly—as s/he searches for love and the “uncontaminated truest” self. The quest leads through New York City at the height of the AIDS crisis, Iowa City’s queer punk scene, off-season Provincetown, a womyn’s festival in Michigan, and, finally, San Francisco. Lawlor successfully mixes pop culture, gender theory, and smut, but the great achievement here is that Paul is no mere symbol but a vibrantly yearning being, “like everybody else, only more so.”" - The New Yorker

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor

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