Jess Taylor, writer

Pauls out in stores NOW!

Paul is not always the same Paul, but could very well be a similar Paul, another Paul in a long line of Pauls.

 Pauls by Jess Taylor

Paul is not always the same Paul, but could very well be a similar Paul, another Paul in a long line of Pauls. Paul runs through forests, drinks in student housing, flirts with girls, at times is a girl, loves men, makes friends, jumps from buildings, hurts people, gets hurt, climbs up towards the sky, waits for a sunrise, and all those human things.


Pauls, the debut short story collection from Jess Taylor, is about people and how they hurt, heal, and shape each other. In the NMA-winning title story, "Paul," the frustrating lives of three Pauls collide in a town, and ultimately universe, that traps them. Within "Breakfast Curry," Paul discovers an illness that keeps his body from healing and opens him up to the mysteries of the world, including a miraculous appearance in the sky. A pathologically lying Paul in "Below the Spoon-Tree" crashes a backyard barbecue where he tries and fails to absorb into a crowd of warring children and trading spouses. The collection finishes with the novelette, "Degenerate," where, during the 2013 ice storm, three women experience life with needy and sordid men who threaten to destroy their collective idea of love.

Funny, heartbreaking, disturbing, and uncanny, the stories of Pauls introduce a singular new voice in contemporary fiction.


#11 on National Post's "N99" Best Books of 2015 Editors' Best Book of 2015 

Kobo Best Canadian Book of 2015

49th Shelf Most Anticipated 2015 Fall Fiction Selection                                                                                          

"Paul" - Winner of the 2013 NMA in Fiction                                                                                                                 

"Breakfast Curry" - Nominated for 2015 NMA in Fiction 

"Wishweeds" - Honourable Mention, 2013 Room Magazine Short Story Contest     

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Praise for Pauls 

"A magical and penetrating collection of strange, mundane, traumatized and ecstatic people who are all named Paul. Its simple sentences are little atoms of wonder." - Heather O'Neill, author of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and Lullabies for Little Criminals

"Reading a Jess Taylor story is like planting a magic bean and watching, with a flashlight, as it grows overnight into something you've never seen before. But then you climb up the stalk of the story and look around and realize there is no magic at all, at least, nothing un-real. These are true stories, illuminated with the wisdom of Flannery O'Connor and the wild leaping logic of Hans Christian Andersen."- Michael Winter, author of Minister Without Portfolio, longlisted for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize

"I read Jess Taylor's debut with a kind of childlike enthusiasm. As a writer, she's thoughtful, compassionate, imaginative and intellectually curious. Her stories tend to establish themselves slowly, like a storm moving in, and they always revolve around a strong emotional centre that pulls you in, some sort of gravity. Don't resist."- Guillaume Morissette, author of New Tab, Finalist for the 2015 First Novel Award 



"A Paul in Every Story" - Brett Josef Grubisic, The Toronto Star 

"Review: Pauls" - Andrew Hood, The Bookshelf Blog 

"Review: Pauls by Jess Taylor" - Jaaron Collins, Worn Pages and Ink 


Jess Taylor 

Jess Taylor is a Toronto writer and poet. She founded The Emerging Writers Reading Series in 2012 and is the fiction editor of Little Brother Magazine. She's released two chapbooks of poetry, And Then Everyone: Poems of the West End (Picture Window Press, 2014) and Never Stop (Anstruther Press, 2014). This October, her first collection of short stories, Pauls, was published by BookThug. The title story from the collection, "Paul," received the 2013 Gold Fiction National Magazine Award. Jess is currently at work on a second collection, a novel, and continuation of her life poem, Never Stop. 


Book Trailer: Sean Deakin

Author Photo: Angela Lewis