Tilly Lawless

Nothing But My Body

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A thought-provoking, discomforting and beautiful novel about love, obsession, community and friendship.

'People always ask if I enjoy the sex I have with clients or if I have to fake it, as if the two are mutually exclusive and the interplay between them isn't more complex. In actuality, it depends. And I'm not sure what people are threatened by more-that I don't always love it, or that I don't always hate it.'

Nothing But My Body is an eight-day journey through the mind of a young woman, a queer sex worker in Australia, as she navigates breakups and infatuation across just over a year.

The unnamed narrator's voice is both fierce and vulnerable, defiant and tender, as she explores the interplay between her external and internal world, and the fluctuations of her emotions as love affairs intensify and wane. Her loneliness is assuaged by her beloved chosen family-her friends-and by the beauty of the natural world.

Set during the cataclysmic bushfire season of 2019 and into the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, sex work is the constant backdrop of the story as it moves between Sydney, Berlin, Orange and Bellingen. The beauty of the writing and the moving and deeply engaging sense of compassion that threads through this remarkable novel give true meaning to the concepts of inclusivity and community in surprising and original ways.

This stunning, unflinching and lyrical debut is both a rejection of romantic love, a euphoric celebration of the queer community and a reckoning with the body as both abject and joyous.

Author: Tilly Lawless
Paperback Published August 2021 256 pages
"Tilly Lawless is a young, queer sex worker, based in Sydney after growing up in rural New South Wales, with a firmly established online presence at her Instagram page and whose first book is being marketed as “literary auto-fiction”. This seems an accurate description, as the book has an obvious autobiographical basis with a simple but careful structure and some astonishingly lyrical writing not only about sex but also about romantic and social relationships and ideas. Intelligent, articulate, and emotionally intense, Lawless is startlingly frank about the details of earning a living as a sex worker, including some intriguing and sometimes painful exploration of where and how that connects with an emotional life focused on other women. There is no trace of any salacious, nudge-nudge tone or attitude here, but some of the detail can be mind-boggling. Reading this book has taught me a few things I would never have thought to learn." Sydney Morning Herald

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