Dhaka, Bangladesh
10 Best Books of 2019

10 Best Books of 2019

A Mistake by Carl Shuker A routine procedure goes awry, and Elizabeth, a star surgeon who's navigated the casual sexism of her field for years, finds herself under the microscope. The New Zealand novelist Carl Shuker creates a memorably brilliant heroine and then, as she navigates the consequences of her mistake, suggests that novel-writing is itself can be analogous to surgery: a careful dissection by an impossibly sharp knife, which can perform miracles-but can also go terribly awry. Luckily, Shuker's hands are steady. A Mistake By Carl Shuker. Counterpoint. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor Am I cheating by including a paperback reprint? Perhaps. But I missed this novel when it was published by a small Iowa press in 2017, and this first novel took over my summer. I devoured the adventures of polymorphous Paul, a shapeshifter who travels across the queer America of 1993, assuming the forms that give him pleasure (and allow him to give pleasure to others). He's a leather daddy, a riot grrl, a sensitive twink; he's an intellectual, a flake, a writer, a naif. No book I read this year was sillier, sexier, or weirder; no book I read was even half as much fun. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl By Andrea Lawlor. Vintage.

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