The Paris Review

Literary Paper Dolls: Franny

© Original illustrations by Jenny Kroik

Before I was a tomboy or a clotheshorse or a loser or a teenager, I was a bookworm. In that happy valley before puberty, my greatest bliss was to be given both a book and the permission to play dress-up all at once. I had a plain white trunk for my robes and silks, my wings (several kinds), my swords and my purses. Dressing up as my favorite characters was a bit of magic, and, even today, I still read novels like a costume designer. I can tell you that the best part of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is Edna Pontellier’s peignoir. I think a lot about Moriah’s underwear in Play It As It Lays (blue silk from a hotel shop) and Hana’s sneakers in The English Patient (slightly too big). How could I not? They are the only

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