A coming-of-age queer love story set in the glamorous but grueling world of international modeling—a radiant debut by a talented new writer.

Body Grammar is gorgeously written; it’s chic, vivid, and glittering. It’s also sticky with big truths and stinging heartaches. Jules Ohman is a real talent.”

—Jami Attenberg, author of All This Could Be Yours

“Set in the gritty and fascinating world of high fashion, Body Grammar itself feels bravely unadorned, its face bare and without artifice. Ohman has a gift for articulating subtle states of mind, not just what a character is thinking, but how it feels for the thoughts to be moving through them. She lands in each moment so lightly, like a bird hovering over a branch. The result is a coming of age story that captures the terror of first love and first loss with the subtle delicacy of a watercolor. Remarkable.”

—Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen

“A terrific debut, cool and laconic on its glamorous surface, but roiling with deep questions of identity and art, love, and the irrepressible need for meaning in life. Jules Ohman is a young writer worth watching.”

—Jess Walter, bestselling author of The Cold Millions

Body Grammar is prescient and provocative, a stunning exploration of the complex relationship between artistic creation and queer first love. Ohman writes with graceful, measured precision about image and self-image, seeing and being seen. Delicate, empathetic, and full of delicious longing, this is a gleaming coming-of-age novel from a tremendously talented debut writer.”

—Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light

“Jules Ohman has fashioned an utterly original account of a young person struggling with a combination of thwarted desire, rocketing fame, and an urgent need to understand what her life is beneath its veneer. Her struggles possess a flinty dignity that is reflected in Ohman’s stately and tender prose. Here is a debut to savor.”

—Deirdre McNamer, author of Aviary



Publication date: June 14th, 2022

By the time Lou turns eighteen, modeling agents across Portland have scouted her for her striking androgynous look. Lou has no interest in fashion or being in the spotlight. She prefers to take photographs, especially of Ivy, her close friend and secret crush.
But when a hike ends in a tragic accident, Lou finds herself lost and ridden with guilt. Determined to find a purpose, Lou moves to New York and steps into the dizzying world of international fashion shows, haute couture, and editorial shoots. It’s a whirlwind of learning how to walk and how to command a body she’s never felt at ease in. But in the limelight, Lou begins to fear that she’s losing her identity—as an individual, as an artist, and as a person still in love with the girl she left behind. 
A sharply observed and intimate story of grief and healing, doubt and self-acceptance set against the hyper-image-conscious industry of modeling and high fashion, Body Grammar shines with the anxieties of finding your place in the world and the heartbreaking beauty of pursuing love.