...[an] excellent debut collection ... It is as if the book is not only stories written by Lawson, but a collage made from these stories which ultimately poses to the reader a nearly answerable question. A puzzle in which each reader decides what the ending image will be; each reader gets to be a small god ...the author has created lives that are complex, maddening, baffling, filled with heart and breath and life.
...[an] impressively polished debut collection of stories ... Despite her limpid, supple prose, there's a creepy cast to Lawson's vision, with shades of Flannery O'Connor's dark humor and Southern Gothic sensibility ... Lawson depicts adolescent desire with humor and warmth ... Against a background of suppressed passions and sublimation, Virgin and Other Stories zeroes in on the hard-won, highly charged moments of awakening in these conflicted lives.
Lawson’s storytelling [is] psychologically poignant enough to avoid the generalizations often made about religion, chastity, and sexuality. Instead, Lawson explores a moral grey area, uncovering new possibilities for truth ... A refreshing take on desires both taboo and repressed, Virgin and Other Stories is a promising debut.