About the Book
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 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.
Read an excerpt from Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
Andrea Lawlor teaches writing at Mount Holyoke College, edits fiction for Fence magazine, and has been awarded fellowships by Lambda Literary and Radar Labs. Their writing has appeared in various literary journals including Ploughshares, Mutha, the Millions, jubilat, the Brooklyn Rail, Faggot Dinosaur, and Encyclopedia, Vol. II. Their publications include a chapbook, Position Papers (Factory Hollow Press, 2016), and a novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, a 2018 finalist for the Lambda Literary and CLMP Firecracker Awards.
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Interview with Andrea Lawlor
“For twenty-five years or so I have been thinking ‘Am I going to medically transition?’ every day, and I still keep not deciding. At different times it feels more or less urgent to know the answer, and sometimes I just think maybe this is my life, being in the question. And that is okay with me actually. There’s a comfort to it. Things will be clear for a moment, then obscure again.”
Review: Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
“The main point of the plot is that Paul has a secret… he can shift between genders at will. (Lawlor has cited both Woolf’s Orlando and Ovid’s Metamorphoses as influences.) He can summon breasts and watch his penis shrink into his body to be replaced by a vulva and vagina.”