Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor is a retelling of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. Orlando, a feminist classic, follows a gender-shifting poet.
Similarly, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl follows a college student from Iowa City who has the ability to change his gender and appearance at will. This allows Paul to explore different identities and sexualities while testing the boundaries of societal gender norms.
The book is set in the queer subcultures of the 1990s. Paul meets a bunch of diverse characters along his journey, each representing a unique aspect of gender and sexuality. From exciting queer punk scenes to empowering lesbian separatist communities, Paul embraces the vast spectrum of queer experiences.
But as Paul transforms more and more, he begins to struggle with maintaining his own sense of self and authenticity. It’s a fascinating take on gender fluidity.
Paul knew he wasn’t good-looking enough to be shiny, but he could be cool in certain contexts. Cool was relational and conceptual; cool took work, cool was a meritocracy which, with all its flaws, he still preferred to the aristocracy of genetics.Andrea Lawlor, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
If you’re giving Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl as a gift, here are a few things to consider:
The vibes are daring, mysterious, emotional, and reflective with a medium pace.
It’s the perfect book for anyone who is interested in learning more about queer culture and enjoys a diverse cast of characters.
Permission to judge a book by its cover!
All of the covers are shades of pink! If I had to choose a favorite, which is admittedly difficult, I’d have to go with the cherries motif like Olivia Wilde. Special thanks to @chuckmonsey and @gay_writes for putting these gorgeous cover photos out into the world.
*Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl fulfilled my POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompt for a modern retelling of a classic.