Wilde Readers Book Club: "Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl" by Andrea Lawlor
Wilde Readers Book Club: A reading group focusing on LGBTQ+ lit, classic and contemporary.
This month's book club pick is Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor.
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 flãaneur 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.
"I love this book, in all its ecstasy, wit, and hilarity. I laughed out loud in recognition and appreciation of Lawlor's spot-on portrait of an era, scene, and soundtrack, the novel's particular sluice of pleasures, fluids, and feelings. The liberatory rush of Lawlor's writing is as rare as it is contagious, not to mention HOT. Paul is on fire, and an antihero for the ages."--Maggie Nelson
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) and Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl (Rescue Press, 2017).
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