A story of friendship, art, sex, and curly hair: an audaciously witty debut tracing the pas de deux of lust and love between two young, uncertain, conflicted art students.
At their New England art school, Paulina and Fran both stand apart from the crowd. Paulina is striking and sexually adventurous—a self-proclaimed queen bee with a devastating mean-girl streak. With her gorgeous untamed head of curly hair, Fran is quirky, sweet, and sexually innocent. An aspiring painter whose potential outstrips her confidence, she floats dreamily through criticisms and dance floors alike. On a school trip to Norway, the girls are drawn together, each disarmed by the other’s charisma.
Though their bond is instant and powerful, it’s also wracked by complications. When Fran winds up dating one of Paulina’s ex-boyfriends, an incensed Paulina becomes determined to destroy the couple, creating a rift that will shape their lives well past the halcyon days of art school.
Crackling with bon mots and knowing snapshots of that moment when the carefree cocoon of adolescence opens into the permanent, unknowable future, Paulina & Fran is both a sparkling dance party of a novel, and the debut novel of a writer with rare insight into the complexities of obsession, friendship, and prickly, ever-elusive love.
“[A] gem of a novel . . .The novel’s mix feels fresh; nearly Gothic in its representation of its doubled heroines and their savage, fervent yearnings but satisfyingly specific in its minute, deliciously petty details.”
“A funny, fast-paced story that follows the post-college life of a drifting, obsessive friendship, Paulina & Fran will appeal to everyone from fans of Broad City to Elena Ferrante devotees.”
“Rachel B. Glaser’s beguiling novel [is] intense and wholly original.”
“These are finely detailed, compelling, complex young adults facing archetypical trials: work and art; sex, devotion, obsession and betrayal; the cavernous future; and how to be oneself and be a friend. . . . a glittering, raucous ride and a thoughtful depiction of life: painful and ecstatic.”
“A rare novel that focuses its attention on the difficulties of repairing adult friendships, with a fun setting and a bold cast of characters to lighten the mood.”
“GREAT BOOK ABOUT YOUNG LADIES IN ART SCHOOL. Fuuuuuuunny!”
“A party in paragraphs that socks you in the mouth when you least expect. I’d pay tuition to this book if it meant I could stay the whole year.”
“When it comes to the dance-hump mating rituals of art school kids, no one does it better or funnier or with as much stylistic aplomb as Rachel B. Glaser.”
“Uncouth, contemptuous, and terrific fun to read. Glaser thoroughly captures both the desperate intimacy of female friendships and the volatile magnificence of youth.”
“This novel is like what a mirror would write if it could type. Rachel B. Glaser has written a wildly funny, sharp, wonderful book that displays the light and dark, the lies and truths, of what it takes to make and keep a friend--without losing sight of oneself.”
“Reading Paulina & Fran is like watching a beautiful woman expertly throw knives into a wall. Viciously funny, tender, and sexy all at once, every page full of deft and skewering observations. No one is spared.”
“A gorgeous book of nerve endings, it manages to capture the rawness and restlessness of youth, friendship, and artists in the making. She gets to the bone of those quixotic, beautiful years when everything matters, most things hurt, and you don’t know who you are. I’ve never read anything quite like it.”