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#amanda leduc
saintmaudes · 9 months ago
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The evil stepmother is a fixture in European fairy tales because the stepmother was very much a fixture in early European society–mortality in childbirth was very high, and it wasn’t unusual for a father to suddenly find himself alone with multiple mouths to feed. So he remarried and brought another woman into the house, and eventually they had yet more children, thus changing the power dynamics of inheritance in the household in a way that had very little to do with inherent, archetypal evil and everything to do with social expectation and pressure. What was a woman to do when she remarried into a family and had to act as mother to her husband’s children as well as her own, in a time when economic prosperity was a magical dream for most? Would she think of killing her husband’s children so that her own children might therefore inherit and thrive? [...] Perhaps. Perhaps not. But the fear that stepmothers (or stepfathers) might do this kind of thing was very real, and it was that fear–fed by the socioeconomic pressures felt by the growing urban class–that fed the stories.
We see this also with the stories passed around in France–fairies who swoop in to save the day when women themselves can’t do so; romantic tales of young girls who marry beasts as a balm to those young ladies facing arranged marriages to older, distant dukes. We see this with the removal of fairies and insertion of religion into the German tales. Fairy tales, in short, are not created in a vacuum. As with all stories, they change and bend both with and in response to culture.
— Amanda Leduc, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space
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heavenlyyshecomes · 9 months ago
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One of the primary ways disabled exclusion operates is through language: our tendency to associate disability and disabled characteristics with weakness and inferiority influences the metaphors we choose and the words we use. Disabilities and conditions are co-opted for use as the ableist labels and descriptors that pervade our ways of speaking. An unpredictable person is jokingly referred to as schizo; someone with mental illness is mental, bonkers, bat-shit crazy. Something (or someone) that disappoints is said to be lame.
People are confined to wheelchairs; they succumb to long illnesses, as though the strength required to fight said illness can’t be mustered and giving in is somehow a choice; people who are ignorant of an issue are blind to it. Someone who isn’t paying enough attention to the insensitivity of their language is tone-deaf. Bit by bit, the language we use reinforces the idea of disability as a thing of weakness, making the disabled person into someone weak, someone less. [...]
When you are taught that the disabled body is bad, when you use language that reinforces this viewpoint–even and perhaps especially when you use that language unconsciously, without considering what it might mean to speak of someone’s lived reality as a metaphor for a difficulty in your own life, or when you use this language to reinforce the idea, however well-intentioned, that the disabled person can and should rise above their physical limitations–you participate in a world that seeks to further entrench disabled exclusion.
— Amanda Leduc, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space;‘The Great Unraveling’
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xaltion · 4 months ago
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Current non-fiction read!
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peaceowatermeln · 2 months ago
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disability + existence/visibility
harriet mcbryde johnson - “unspeakable conversations” / crip camp (2020) dir. james lebrecht, nicole newnham / sky cubacub - “radical visibility: a disabled queer clothing reform movement manifesto” / “and suddenly i disappear (I)” from the singapore ‘d’ monologues, dir. phillip zarrilli / amanda leduc - “disfigured: on fairy tales, disability, and making space” / crip camp (2020) dir. james lebrecht, nicole newnham
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writesailingdreams · 4 months ago
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I’m about halfway through Leduc’s Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space.
Here’s some pedantic reactions/questions that have nothing to do with the main argument of the book:
Disney’s Cinderella is based on Perrault (“think Disney and its princesses...like... ‘Cinderella’ (...the stepsisters’ self-mutilation in pursit of Cinderella’s glass slipper)” pg. 24)
Is Jasmine officially South Asian*? (“Fifty-five years for a princess who was South Asian” pg 92)
Is Moana specially Tahitian*? (“The young Tahitian princess Moana” pg. 96)
I didn’t think Maleficent had wings in the 1959 version (“Maleficent has that green skin and those wings” pg. 192)
Ursula has purple skin (“Ursula the Sea Witch has grey skin” pg. 102)
*the fact that I thought these two were more generic in my head, is itself a problem. I’ve always seen Jasmine as Arab, but she really is a stand in for a wide swathe of identies, so choosing one seemed odd. As for Moana, it’s possible, but I remember her being more of a Polynesian princess than a specific region/island. (If this is been specficied somewhere, I’d like to know.)
More on topic, but when Leduc was discussing Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, I kept expecting her to talk about the Evil Queen/Witch, since she literally turns herself into an old, limping woman. But maybe it’ll come up in a later chapter.
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missbookiverse · 5 months ago
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Wenn es bei Intersektionalität und Diskriminierung um die Aspekte Gender, Sexualität und Race geht, fühle ich mich ziemlich gut informiert. Wenn ich einen Blick auf die anderen Gebiete, wie Class, Religion oder Disability werfe, werden die Wissenslücken allerdings größer und deshalb habe ich mich in den letzten Monaten wenigstens dem Thema der Beeinträchtigung etwas genähert und möchte euch dazu heute zwei Sachbücher vorstellen.
Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, & Making Space von Amanda Leduc erstmals 2020 erschienen | goodreads | Verlag
Amanda Leduc legt in Disfigured eine abwechslungsreiche Mischung aus Memoir, Disability Grundwissen, Märchen-Einmaleins und popkulturellen Beispielen (Disneyfilme, Marveluniversum, Game of Thrones etc.) vor. Die Parts, in denen es um Disability und ihre eigene (Kranken)geschichte mit Zerebralparese geht, sind dabei deutlich stärker. Sie informieren und berühren und regen dadurch zum Nachdenken an. Wie nehme ich selbst beeinträchtigte Menschen wahr? Kommuniziere ich ihnen gegenüber Mitleid oder sehe ich sie als normalen Teil unserer Gesellschaft? Habe ich schon einmal geäußert, wie schlimm es für mich wäre, blind zu sein oder im Rollstuhl zu sitzen? Generell ist Leduc stets um einen intersektionalen Ansatz bemüht, ihre vorhandenen Privilegien sind ihr bewusst und sie lässt viele weitere Stimmen von anderen Menschen mit Beeinträchtigung zu Wort kommen, was das Bild, dass keine beeinträchtigte Person für alle sprechen kann, stärkt.
Leider hapert es dafür an der kulturwissenschaftlichen Analyse ihrer Beispiele. Auf den ersten Blick wirft sie berechtigte Fragen auf: Warum sind so viele Bösewichte (Disney, James Bond) mit einer Entstellung gekennzeichnet (z.B. Scar aus The Lion King)? Wieso gibt es keine Disney-Prinzessinnen im Rollstuhl o. ä.? Um diesen Misstand zu erklären, unterfüttert sie ihre Beispiele mit Grundlagen der europäischen Märchentradition und auch diese Stellen sind durchaus interessant, aber sobald genauer hingeschaut wird, fallen viele ihrer Argumentationen in sich zusammen. Dieses Review hat die Probleme sehr gut aufgeführt. Leducs Beispiele wirken zu wahllos, um repräsentativ sein zu können und die Analysen gehen nicht in die Tiefe, wo sich sonst Stolpersteine und Lücken auftun würden. Diese Oberflächlichkeit lässt sich vielleicht damit entschuldigen, dass das Buch eben keinen akademisch analytischen Ansatz verfolgt und bis zu einem gewissen Grad möchte ich Leduc die Makel deshalb nicht zu sehr ankreiden. Andererseits lassen sich unter kritischer Betrachtung eben einige ihrer Argumente entkräften und somit schwächen. Ein Blick in die verlinkte Rezension lohnt sich definitiv, vor allem als Ergänzung zum Buch.
Trotz dieses Mankos ist die fehlende oder negativ besetzte Repräsentation von beeinträchtigten Figuren in Unterhaltungsnarrativen nicht von der Hand zu weisen und stellt einen Missstand da, den wir zurecht anfechten und verändern (wollen) sollten. Genau das ist es auch, was Leduc mit ihrem Buch, wie sie nicht müde wird zu betonen, bewirken will.
Wer sich weniger für Märchen und die Darstellung von Beeinträchtigungen in der Popkultur interessiert und lieber mehr über Disability Studies und persönliche Erfahrungen aus dem Leben mit Beeinträchtigung erfahren möchte, sei folgendes Buch zu empfehlen:
Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body von Rebekah Taussig erstmals 2020 erschienen | goodreads | Verlag
Rebekah Taussig sitzt seit ihrer Kindheit im Rollstuhl und plaudert in dieser Memoir fröhlich drauf los, um genau von dieser Tatsache zu erzählen. Dabei geht es nicht nur um ihre Selbstwahrnehmung, sondern auch darum, wie die Gesellschaft sie sieht und wie ernüchternd es sein kann, sich in einer Welt zu bewegen, die nur für Durchschnittskörper gemacht ist. Angesichts der frustrierenden bis deprimierenden Erfahrungen, die sie aus ihrem Alltag schildert, ist es fast überraschend, wie positiv und optimistisch sie bleibt. Nicht weil ihr Leben mit einer Beeinträchtigung weniger schön ist, sondern weil die Welt um sie herum so große Schwierigkeiten damit hat, ihr das zu glauben. Mitleid, aufgezwungene Hilfe und Gebete für eine Heilung sind für Taussig keine Seltenheit und ihr Buch hilft dabei, diese Irrglauben aus dem Weg zu räumen. Auch hier bleibt ihr Ton entspannt, klingt nie belehrend oder anschuldigend, obwohl sie allen Grund dazu hätte. Stattdessen erklärt sie geduldig die Probleme, löst Missverständnisse auf und schlägt alternative Denk- und Handlungsansätze vor. Dabei plädiert sie immer wieder für die Vorteile, die die Einbeziehung von beeinträchtigten Menschen mit sich bringt. Das fängt bei so simplen Dingen wie Untertiteln für Hörgeschädigte an, die auch von Menschen, die ihren Fernseher nicht so laut drehen wollen oder solchen, die eine neue Sprache lernen, gern und viel genutzt werden.
Immer wieder verweist Taussig darauf, dass jeder Mensch sich darüber bewusst sein sollte, dass ein Unfall oder einfach das Alter uns alle plötzlich beeinträchtigen kann (und wird) und dass das kein Grund zum Verzweifeln ist. Früher wurden Menschen mit Sehschwächen z. B. als blind eingestuft. Heutzutage hat die Brille als Hilfsmittel sich so sehr etabliert, dass sie von manchen sogar als modisches Accessoire mit Scheibenglas getragen wird.
Besonders spannend fand ich Taussigs Erfahrungen als Lehrerin, die sich darum bemüht, ihren Schüler:innen Disability Studies näher zu bringen und dabei auf schockierende Ignoranz stößt. Auch der Fakt, dass sie als Frau im Rollstuhl so gut wie nie sexualisiert wird, hat mir wertvolle Denkanstöße geliefert. Taussigs Gedanken hierzu sind kompliziert, aber reflektiert. Natürlich möchte sie kein Opfer von Sexismus, z. B. in Form unangebrachten Hinterherpfeifens, werden, aber andererseits schließt sie das aus einer relativ universalen Erfahrung, die viele Frauen miteinander teilen und zusammenschweißt, aus.
Ich hoffe, das Anreißen dieser beiden Bücher konnte euch zeigen, wie wenig Menschen mit Beeinträchtigung in unserer Gesellschaft mitgedacht werden und was für ein Verlust das für uns alle ist. Vielleicht inspiriert es euch ja, euch selbst näher mit dem Thema zu beschäftigen. Über Tipps für weitere Bücher zur Thematik, vor allem auch mit Deutschlandbezug, würde ich mich freuen. Auf meiner Leseliste steht als nächstes die Essaysammlung Disability Visibility.
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emmalwrites · 9 months ago
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Review: The Centaur's Wife by Amanda Leduc
Review: The Centaur’s Wife by Amanda Leduc
⭐⭐⭐ Rating: 3 out of 5. In Amanda Leduc’s novel The Centaur’s Wife, flowers harbour spirits and mountain soil has the power to transform bodies. After a devastating natural disaster, the city at the foot of the mountain struggles with food shortages, harsh winter, and the inexplicable encroachment of wild vines onto urban territory. Nothing the survivors plant is able to grow, however, and…
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booktheraepy · 3 years ago
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The Miracles of Ordinary Men by Amanda Leduc
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saintmaudes · 9 months ago
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Whether it’s the pumpkin in ‘Cinderella’ or the sudden appearance of the Little Mermaid’s human legs, fairy tales often pivot on something or someone becoming different at some point through the text–the unattainable suddenly made manifest through magic, fairy dust, and longing. [...]
But it is never society that changes, no matter how many half-animals or scullery maids are out there arguing for their place at the table. It is almost always the protagonists themselves who transform in some way–becoming more palatable, more beautiful, more easily able to fit into the mould of society already in place. The intervention is magical rather than surgical, but one can imagine the writers of these tales arguing in favour of the medical model: the life-saving surgery, where life is synonymous with social standing and regard. The child who has surgery to repair their club foot is the same child who, in a fairy tale, would likely be visited by a fairy godmother or an evil witch, the gift of able-bodiedness dangled in front of them in a way that’s entirely irresistible.
— Amanda Leduc, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space
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heavenlyyshecomes · 9 months ago
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‘Disability,’ as Tobin Siebers reminds us, ‘has served throughout history to symbolize other problems in human society.’ We turn disability into a symbol because it has been socialized to be not useful – a burden on society, an uncomfortable ending. If disability is instead seen in story as a metaphor, there is potential for the happy ending as the able-bodied world knows it to truly be achieved. If a disability is not a disability so much as a symbol of something else, then once that symbol is realized, the disability can go away. [...]
But this conceptualization of disability – at best merely a metaphor for psychological ills that can be overcome, at worst a punishment or judgment that can be reversed through magical or spiritual means, though only if one deserves it – does a disservice to the actual lived experience of what it means to occupy a different body in the world. Disability isn’t visited on us in response to a grand, overarching narrative plan, but rather is a lived, complex reality that reimagines the very nature of how we move through and occupy space. It both shapes and is shaped by society, and denying the lived reality of what it means to be a disabled body in the world denies the possibility of growth on the disabled person’s terms.
— Amanda Leduc, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space; ‘The Great Unravelling’
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thumbedpages · 6 months ago
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Amanda Leduc - Disfigured
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bigtickhk · a year ago
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Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc https://amzn.to/2PtOmOE
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Since I was born I've had muscle tone problems. Rural doctors said I would grow out of it. Then when I didn't grow out of it they looked at my problems walking, they looked at how I can't sit up, they looked at how I can't ride a bike - and they went "Well, this kid is probably lazy or something IDK LOL."
So my parents assume I'm healthy because the doctor doesn't give me a label. They tell me to take my elbows off the table, stop dragging my feet, stop slouching. When I'm a teenager I grab a cane and it helps me walk. My parents hate it - they're embrassed and they don't believe I have any real reason to need it.
I'm an adult. A sympathetic GP prescribes me forearm crutches, but I stop seeing doctors about my legs. I focus on other identifiable problems, my blindness and such.
Now, after twenty some years I'm sitting in my room reading a book about disability representation in fairy tales, and the author has Cerebral Palsy. She explains symptoms and I nod along - I've had some similar stuff, so I can relate to the author...
And she's talking about being bullied, and I think about how I was bullied in the exact same way for the exact same movement-related reasons. It starts hitting close to home. So I think - I don't actually know anything about CP, I should learn more to better understand the author's life.
...I think I'm going to see another doctor about my legs.
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22 Books in 2022
Thanks so much for the tag, @ireadiguess! Here are 22 books I want to read in 2022:
The Unidentified by Colin Dickey- I WILL read this because I have it checked out from the library right now. Really enjoyed Ghostland (possibly my favorite nonfiction from last year?), so I’m excited for this one.
 Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood- I SHOULD read this because it’s in my physical tbr stack. Nervous about this one because classical myth retellings have become very trendy lately and not to be an academic classicist but that does set off some warning bells. But I definitely want to give it a chance!
Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson- I really, really liked Sorcery of Thorns, so I’m hoping I’ll like Rogerson’s next read just as much.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr- I believe @ninja-muse liked this one and it sounds like it’s about narratives and interconnected stories and has a connection to the ancient world, which is always exciting.
A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark- Fantastical murder mystery, need I say more?
Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn- Legendborn was so good! I need more!
This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar- Got this for Christmas so I WILL read it. (Even if I have to steal it back from my friend first.) Have heard many good things.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss- This one has been on my radar forever. Perhaps this is the year.
We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal- It’s been so long since I’ve read the first one but it was quite good so I would like to finally get my hands on the second one.
Disfigured: On Fairytales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc- Seems like an important perspective for me to consider, as someone who reads a lot of fairytales!
Robert Harris’ Cicero trilogy- We read just the second book of this (?) for my high school Latin class and I’m looking forward to reading them all and seeing how they hold up. (Also, now owned so should be able to do this.)
The Haunting Season by an assortment of authors- Got really into the idea of Victorian Christmas ghost stories this year (?) so I want to pick up this little collection riffing on that theme.
The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper- Prostitutes in Pompeii. Could go very well. Could go terribly. Only time will tell. (If I can get my hands on this book.)
A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske- This just came highly recommended also by @ninja-muse.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James- This has been on my tbr list for some time and I feel like I should include at least one classic.
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos (translated by Hildegarde Serle)- A friend read this quartet this year and loved them, so hoping to get to this.
The Spectral Arctic by Shane McCorristine- Can you tell that I’m doing some research on ghosts this semester?
White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi- See above.
Home by Toni Morrison- I believe if I read this one I’ll have read all 11 of Toni Morrison’s novels! (Though I suspect Song of Solomon will remain my favorite.)
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan- Another one that’s been on my tbr forever.
Caroline Alexander’s translation of the Iliad- It’s been too long since I’ve actually read the whole Iliad, frankly.
A Tip for the Hangman by Allison Epstein- Tudor England, spies, I’m here for it.
Not many upcoming releases on there because I’m bad at keeping track of that kind of stuff, but I’m sure I’ll find some of those too.
Tagging anyone who would like to join because most of the people I would tag have already done it!
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thiswaycomessomethingwicked · 11 months ago
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Ok so since I went on a wee tear about people reading someone other than Pratchett, the same as how HP fandom needs to read someone other than she who shall not be named, here are some authors to check out! Some are classics who you will have read before, or at least heard of, I hope some of them will be new to you as well. 
Feel free to add to it. I’m going mostly for fantasy/sci-fi/fabulism and their adjacencies:  
Octavia Butler (she’s a classic and her stuff from the 80s alone, and the context she was writing in, is 100% more radical than half the crap we all spew out now.) 
Angela Carter (she’s a classic for the retold fairy tale. I’v read other authors who try this and everyone is derivative of her and no one is nearly as good)
Scott Lynch (fun fantasy assassin world - though I feel like he’s #problematic for some reason now? I don’t follow all the lit drama that is out there)
Marie Brennan (dragons! women in science!)
Stephen Graham Jones (Indigenous [Blackfoot] horror and the struggles of belonging)
Natasha Pully (steampunk and spies! Also you want some actual, canon, like it’s clearly stated gays in Victorian England and not some bad jokes vaguely hinted at kinda-sorta in Monstrous Regiment)
John Gardner (fun weird fabulism? idk I’m just here for Grendel) 
Imogen Hermes Gowar (Mermaids! cabinets of curiosity! low-urban fantasy! I got queer vibes from her stuff) 
Waubgeshig Rice (more Indigenous (Anishinaabe) horror - his latest Moon of the Crusted Snow is *chef’s kiss* perfect) 
Jeff Vandermeer (environmentalism sci-fi/spec-fic - weird and very Floridian. More women in science!) 
Amanda Leduc (new author! Apocalyptica and centaurs and meteors)
Katherine Arden (eastern European folklore retold in different ways)
Tamora Pierce (I know I bang on about her all the time - openly gay and trans characters; deals with racism and doesn’t dismiss it by saying speciesism is more interesting; no “loitering with intent” jokes that show how everyone hates the homeless and gay men etc.) 
Ursula K LeGuin (another classic; also openly gay and trans characters; fascinating stuff with gender and race; she’s so fucking smart)
NK Jemison (Like LeGuin, so fucking smart, doing cool stuff with race and sexuality and also environmentalism and other issues)
Silvia Moreno-Garcia (she wrote Mexican Gothic! She tends to do fantasy and gothic and folkloric retellings set in Mexico - her latest is 1920s Mexico and the Mayan god of the dead has come back. Shit proceeds to get real)
Rebecca Roanhorse (there’s a massive flood; so many earthquakes and other events cause magic to return. Tells the story of a group of young Navajo kids dealing with all of this)
Karen McBride (new author! Crow Winter is great - girl returns home to Spirit Bear Point First Nation and starts being visited by a local spirit/god and things go from there) 
Lydia Kwa (magic-realism in 7th century China with many ghosts and oracle bones also martial arts and some good action) 
Eden Robinson (she wrote the Trickster series! If you guys like trickster gods and the shit that can fall out from magic powers going sideways? Her books are for you.)
Tochi Onyebuchi (deals with magic and race and racism; also cops and incarceration and the violence of the carcerial system.) 
Rivers Solomon (she talks about race and slavery and class through spec-fic - she’s more on the sci-fi side - also she talks about generational trauma and inherited struggles)
This is obviously just a starter pack. 
Honestly though, if you want radical fantasy that talks about real issues? Stop reading white straight men for a year. For just one, single year read only black and indigenous authors, lgbtq+ authors, Latino authors, east asian authors etc. 
There is a massive wide world of radical work out there. I’m sorry to say, Pratchett isn’t really part of it. But if that’s what you’re yearning for, if you want to see yourself and your struggles on the page? It’s out there. Just google “queer fantasy” or “Latino fantasy authors” or “afro-futurism” and you will be inundated with fantastic writers all worthy of reading and exploring. 
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wizardysseus · 3 months ago
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man, amanda leduc's disfigured book was so good until she pivoted from fairy tales to superheroes
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grimdarkacademia · a year ago
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Dark Academia New Book Recs
Here are some books published within the last year that are cerebral, moody, and full of beautiful language. 
Fiction:
Imaginary Museums by Nicholette Polek
A collection of fabulist microfiction that slips your mind into a dreamspace. Each 1-2 page story is as absurd as it is true. 
Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel by Julian K. Jarboe
A brilliant and emotionally raw short story collection full of misfits and forgotten people who don’t always make it out of their own stories unscathed. 
Nonfiction:
Recollections of my Nonexistence by Rebecca Solnit
A young writer’s journey in learning to name the war she fights every day. Brilliant, soulful, and endlessly quotable. 
Intimations by Zadie Smith
Microessays from the start of Covid lockdowns.
Disfigured by Amanda Leduc
Essays on the intersection of Fairy Tales and Disability-- it will make you rethink every story from your childhood. 
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heavenlyyshecomes · 9 months ago
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De Beaumont was known for the way she inserted moral teachings into her fairy tales. In the same way that the French tales of fairies put the feminine in a story as an agent of change, so too did the arc of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ aim to speak to a female audience. In this case, we can speculate that the tale was meant primarily for young women who were being passed back and forth in arranged marriages; the you’ll-come-to-love- him moral of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was more than likely intended as a balm to those who were facing their new lives with some degree of trepidation.
‘That the desire for wealth and upward mobility motivates parents to turn their daughters over to beasts,’ writes folklore scholar Maria Tatar in the introduction to her collection Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales about Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World, ‘points to the possibility that these tales mirror social practices of an earlier age. Many an arranged marriage must have felt like being tethered to a monster.’
— Amanda Leduc, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space; ‘Something Below Humanity: The Beautiful and the Beastly
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