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Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

Written by: Andrea Lawlor
Narrated by: Dani Martineck
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins

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Publisher's Summary

“HOT.” (Maggie Nelson)
“TIGHT.” (Eileen Myles
“DEEP.” (Michelle Tea)

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 dyke best friend, makes zines, and is a flaneur with a rich dating life. But Paul's also got a secret: He's a shape-shifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather cub, Paul transforms his body and his gender at will as he crosses the country - a journey and adventure through the deep queer archives of struggle and pleasure.

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is a riotous, razor-sharp bildungsroman whose hero/ine wends his/her way through a world gutted by loss, pulsing with music, and opening into an array of intimacy and connections.

©2019 Andrea Lawlor (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is playful, sexy, smart, and like nothing else I - or you - have ever read before." (Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties)

"Mixes pop culture, gender theory, and smut, but [Lawlor’s] greatest achievement is that Paul is no mere symbol but a vibrantly yearning being." (The New Yorker)

“Joyous and ever-changing, whip-smart and brilliantly perverse, 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, author of What Belongs to You)

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  • Andrew
  • 2019-06-28

The Hottest Book Ever Written

I've only dinged it a little because this book just sort of ends. No spoilers, but I wasn't very satisfied. The sex and heartbreak. Oh my god! I needed this book and it had its way with me.

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  • sarah avery sullivan
  • 2019-06-05


Loved living in the 90s queer feminist theory and music and fashion and city spots. I So relate to Paul’s sexuality/gender/desire, AL writes hard to describe feelings and actions in a way that makes them really understood validating relatable affirmed celebrated challenged