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.
Rachel B. Glaser is the author of the story collection Pee On Water and the poetry collection MOODS. She is a recipient of the McSweeney's Amanda Davis Fiction Award, and her work has appeared in the anthologies 30 Under 30 and New American Stories. Nylon has cited her as one of the "Coolest Female Poets to Know Right Now." She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.