Books·Canadian

Disfigured

Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space is a book by Amanda Leduc.

Amanda Leduc

Challenges the ableism of fairy tales and offers new ways to celebrate the magic of all bodies. 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 point the way toward a new world where disability is no longer a punishment or impediment but operates, instead, as a way of centering a protagonist and helping them to cement their own place in a story, and from there, the world. Through the book, Leduc ruminates on the connections we make between fairy tale archetypes - the beautiful princess, the glass slipper, the maiden with long hair lost in the tower - and tries to make sense of them through a twenty-first-century disablist lens. From examinations of disability in tales from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen through to modern interpretations ranging from Disney to Angela Carter, and the fight for disabled representation in today's media, Leduc connects the fight for disability justice to the growth of modern, magical stories, and argues for increased awareness and acceptance of that which is other - helping us to see and celebrate the magic inherent in different bodies. (From Coach House Books) 

Leduc is the communications and development coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) in Brampton, Ont. She is also the author of the novel The Miracles of Ordinary Men. She was longlisted for the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize.

Interviews with Amanda Leduc

Essayist and fiction writer Amanda Leduc on exploring the portrayal of disability in fairy tales in her book Disfigured. 15:11
Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson wrote classic fairy tales but they also include representations of disability. Writer Amanda Leduc has a new book called Disfigured that asks if it's time to make space for a new representation in these stories. 10:54

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