Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl - Outburst Book Group

We're excited to to share the next book for Outburst's new book group! Described as a punk, 90s version of Orlando, our next read is Andrea Lawlor's playful, hot, unapologetically queer debut novel, 'Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl'.

"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 lesbian best friend, makes zines, and is a flaneur 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."

The book is available from a few different sources here but if you have any trouble getting hold of it or cost is a barrier for you, drop us a line and we'll see what we can do 😉!

The book group is free and open to all, but there are limited places. Please let us know you're planning to attend by emailing and we can send you the link to meet us online...

Over the next few months, Outburst's book group will explore classic and contemporary queer books and ideas. We want to share accessible, exciting fiction that introduces queer themes, creative forms, and ways of being...and think about how these ideas relate to the queer futures we imagine for ourselves. We will meet roughly once every 5 or 6 weeks to discuss a new book in a welcoming and friendly setting. For the moment, our meeting place will be online, but in the future it will be in a city-centre Belfast location.

Image description: A drawing on a pink background of a close up view of person's parted lips, and quotes about the book. 'Tight' Eileen Myles, 'Deep' Michelle Tea, 'Hot' Maggie Nelson, 'Smut' The New Yorker.

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