Look Who’s Morphing is a collection of fictions that was published to acclaim in Australia and New Zealand by Giramondo Publishing in 2009. In 2014, the book was published in North America and Europe by Arsenal Pulp Press.

The collection was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (South East Asia and Pacific), 2009 Age Fiction Book of the Year and Melbourne Prize Trust’s 2009 Best Writing Award.

Now in its third Australian printing, Look Who’s Morphing has been studied at universities in Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Singapore and Japan. It was also among the inaugural 200 books selected for the Reading Australia project, which aims to “make significant Australian literary works more readily available for teaching in schools and universities”.

Look Who's Morphing (Australia and New Zealand edition) Look Who's Morphing (North America & Europe edition)

Australia and New Zealand edition

North America and Europe edition

[Book cover photos: Owen Leong]



This is the blurb for the North America and Europe edition of the book:

First published to acclaim in Australia, Look Who’s Morphing by Asian-Australian writer Tom Cho is a funny, fantastical, often outlandish collection of stories firmly grounded in pop culture. The book’s central character undergoes a series of startling transformations, shape-shifting through figures drawn from film, television, music, books, porn flicks, and comics. Often accompanied by family members, this narrator becomes Godzilla, Suzi Quatro, Whitney Houston’s bodyguard, a Muppet, a gay leatherman,
 a nun who becomes a governess to the von Trapp children, and, in the book’s lavish climax, a 100-foot-tall guitar-wielding rock star performing for an adoring troupe of fans in Tokyo.

Throughout these stories, there is a pervasive questioning of the nature of identity—cultural, racial, sexual, gender, and what lies beyond. Look Who’s Morphing is a stylish, highly entertaining literary debut in which nothing, including one’s self, can be taken for granted.

Book trailer


The Paris Review
The Paris Review
Within each story, Cho lifts various pop culture phenomena and spins them into fantastical tales. In one, the narrator is accosted by the make-up team for The Muppets and turned into a penguin; in another, he becomes a Godzilla-like monster, terrorizing, then performing a concert for, the people of Tokyo. If the transformations sound outlandish, well, they are, and each page explodes its predecessor. But what astonishes me in this book—more than the transformations themselves—is the narrator’s tone and eye.
The Vancouver Sun
The Vancouver Sun
Australian author Tom Cho’s extraordinary book of short stories, Look Who’s Morphing… is infused with a fierce, transgressive eroticism inflected with anxiety. (The author manages) to locate (his) work at the intersections of the world of dreams and the world of pop in ways that are fresh and engaging. 
Broken Pencil
Broken Pencil
Is this truth or fiction? Is this a novel, a memoir, or an academic experiment with language? It’s often hard to tell, and perhaps that’s the point. Look Who’s Morphing is undoubtedly a gem. 
Tom Cho’s romp through identity – Look Who’s Morphing – is a collection of carefully constructed narratives, both outrageously funny, and full of unsettling pathos. Cho manages both masterfully.
The Australian Literary Review
The Australian Literary Review
Cho’s fiction is playful, subversive, a big kick in the post-post-postmodern behind. There’s more to Cho’s work than eliciting big laughs, but how often do you close a book, then open it right back up again just to relive that pleasure?
The Australian
The Australian
(A) delightfully eccentric look at life in a popular-culture saturated world… Cho displays a fine eye for the camp and outrageous… For those on his wavelength, Cho’s book is entertaining and thought-provoking.
Cho has accomplished a piece of work that will surely stand the test of time.
Read more reviews


Read and listen to samples

Read ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Suitmation’

This sample (from the Arsenal Pulp Press edition of Look Who’s Morphing) contains the book’s first two pieces: ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Suitmation’:

Look Who's Morphing: Sample


Listen to ‘AIYO!!! An Evil Group of Ninjas is Entering and Destroying a Call Centre!!!’

It’s a tale as old as time itself: an evil group of ninjas attacks a call centre.

[Note: Audio player not working? Download the mp3 instead.]

Story: Tom Cho
Voice: Janette Hoe
Producer: Archie Cuthbertson for Going Down Swinging. Recorded at 3RRR Studios, 2004


Listen to ‘The Sound of Music’

Let’s start at the very beginning:

[Note: Audio player not working? Download the mp3 instead.]

Story: Tom Cho
Voice: Tom Cho
Illustration: Marc Martin
Sound design: Jon Tjhia
Producers: Jessie Borrelle and Jon Tjhia for Paper Radio
Additional voices: Alex Nosek and Henry Winkler


Look Who’s Morphing is available in a range of formats:

Some recommended outlets for buying the Australia and New Zealand edition online:

Buy 'Look Who's Morphing' from Giramondo Publishing

Buy 'Look Who's Morphing' from Hares & Hyenas

Buy 'Look Who's Morphing' from Readings

My publisher

Melbourne’s queer bookshop

Independent bookstore chain


Some recommended outlets for buying the North America and European edition online:

Buy 'Look Who's Morphing' from Arsenal Pulp Press

Buy 'Look Who's Morphing' from Bookshop.org

Buy 'Look Who's Morphing' from Glad Day Bookshop Buy 'Look Who's Morphing' from Another Story Bookshop

My publisher

Indie bookselling initiative

Toronto’s queer bookshop

Toronto indie bookshop


Note: The book is also available from major outlets such as Amazon USA and Amazon Canada.

Ebook editions are available from many sellers, including AmazonFishpond, iBooks and Kobo.

Any bookstore can order a print version of Look Who’s Morphing using the following details:

Look Who’s Morphing 

Tom Cho

Australia and New Zealand edition: ISBN 9781920882549; Giramondo Publishing; 2009

North America and Europe edition: ISBN 9781551525389; Arsenal Pulp Press; 2014