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Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space

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4.62  ·  Rating details ·  13 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In fairy tales, happy endings are the norm -- as long as you're beautiful and walk on two legs. After all, the ogre never gets the princess. And since fairy tales are the foundational myths of our culture, how can a girl with a disability ever think she'll have a happy ending?

By examining the ways that fairy tales have shaped our expectations of disability, Disfigured will
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Paperback, 160 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Coach House Books (first published February 4th 2020)
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Lolly K Dandeneau
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/
'Disability is not a monolith- every disabled person’s experience in the world is different, and the way that we all navigate the world is likewise varied and complex.'

This is one of the most beautiful books I have read in years. Fairy-tales are a part of our lives, serving as a model for modern day stories, often as lessons in morality, a warning, a guiding tale that even smacks of those early after school specials my generation was so fond of.
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Erin Cataldi
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Damn, this book will make you think long and deep about the fairy tales we internalized as kids. Once you think about it, the connection between disability and fairy tale is so obviously there, but since so many of us started watching/reading/hearing these tales in our youth we accepted major themes as truth. Only certain beautiful princesses or maidens were worthy of a happy ending. Disfigurement meant you were deceitful and/or a villain. If you were ugly or beastly (beauty and the beast/ the ...more
Christine
Disclaimer: I won an ARC of this on Librarything.

Disfigured is one of those books that isn’t quite what you thought it was going to be, but that’s fine because it is a damn good book. When I entered the early review giveaway, I thought or imagine it to be more of a critique of how disability was presented in the fairy tales, the book, however, is not entirely that so less literary criticism and more a personal reflection about how fairy tales influenced how society sees disability (both
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Jaclyn
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2019
Oh. My. God. This book.

I'm not disabled, but I've always been a chubby kid and am now a plus-size woman, and I related SO HARD to Leduc's thesis that fairy tales allow only certain types of bodies to be granted happy endings. Leduc also raises many good points on the trope of transformation in fairy tales and superhero stories, and the message therein that you must "overcome" your less-than-"perfect" body to get your happily ever after. There's a lot of emphasis on "overcoming" your own
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Jocelyn
This is one of those books I parsed through slowly because I wanted to take my time. Normally I devour. Here, it felt necessary to stop, to let myself sit with the topics at hand.

I love fairy tales and folk lore. They're some of my favorite things to read and I never tire of those stories. Yet until reading this I hadn't truly thought about how that has probably colored my sense of the world in terms of disability, disfigurement, and the visibly other. Leduc makes so many connections that had
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Margaret
Phenomenal. Amanda Leduc entwines her memoir of being a disabled person with cerebral palsy with an analysis of disabled representation in fairy tales, and how the stories we tell about disabled folk still frame disabled people as objects of pity, villans, and/or things to be fixed. I highlighted so many excerpts from this, and I have so many writing ideas now. While fairytale retellings have subverted fairytale tropes in so many ways--feminist retellings, more POC, more LGBTQ+ ...more
Anna Tan
Everyone loves fairy tales. We've grown up longing for, and dreaming of, our own fairy tale endings. Some of us can and do end up getting some version of happily-ever-after, but Leduc asks a harder question: must fairy tales and happy endings be solely hinged on the magical healing of physical disability or disfigurement, of things that are ugly or broken being made pretty and whole again?

Why can't those who live with disabilities be happy and whole even if they never find a cure?

Throughout
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Amanda Leduc was born in Canada and has lived in England, British Columbia, Ontario, and Scotland. She has published articles across Canada, the US, and the UK, was shortlisted for the 2006 CBC Literary Awards, and was First Runner Up in PRISM International's 2008 Short Fiction Contest. In 2012, she was shortlisted for the TNQ Edna Staebler CNF Contest and the PRISM International Short Fiction ...more