Asexuality as an orientation is misunderstood, under-represented or simply unknown to most people. In fact, around 1% of the population is somewhere on the asexual spectrum (ie people who do not experience sexual attraction).
Before the digital age, asexuality seemed like a taboo subject. But what if we go further back? The fairy tales, myths and legends told by our ancestors contain motifs that can be read as speaking to asexual themes. Tales of androgynes, neither male nor female; of women and men who resist sex and marriage for other kinds of love; of chaste romances, miraculous childbirth and bodily transformation; of glass coffins, marble statues, towers and enchanted sleep.
In 2019, Elizabeth crowdfunded and published Asexual Fairy Tales, a collection of retold and reimagined tales from around the world, all with an asexual theme, and beautifully illustrated by Anna Hopkinson.
Elizabeth will read from her book and talk about the research and personal journey behind it. Audience questions are welcome.
######## Testimonials ########
*"Fairy tales are a part of every child's life. As we grow up, we learn mythology, history, and legends. Yet, for asexuals, the representation has always been rare to non-existent. What Elizabeth Hopkinson has done is brought aces to the forefront in these pieces of writing. It's an incredible and necessary thing! Everyone wants to see a character that is like themselves in what they read or watch, even when it comes to fairy tales. So what Elizabeth is doing here is greatly appreciated, and we wish her the very best!" — Kelsey Lee, Social Media Director of AVEN (Asexual Visibility & Education Network)
“I really enjoyed the reading! Being an asexual myself I’m really glad you wrote this book!” K, University of Huddersfield LGBTQ+ Society
“Thank you so much, the talk was enlightening and made me think.” L, University of Huddersfield LGBTQ+ Society
“As a person on the Ace spectrum I am deeply in love with these tales. Sure, they may not represent myself but the fact that they represent somebody brings me joy.” C, Bradford*Views: 430 | Enquiries: 0
Elizabeth Hopkinson is a fantasy fiction writer with a deep interest in history and fairy tale. She is the author of Asexual Fairy Tales and historical fantasy Silver Hands (inspired by the fairy tale "The Handless Maiden" and set in the Golden Age of Sail).
She has had around 100 short stories published, and won a number of prizes, including the James White Award 2005, and a runner-up prize in the Jane Austen Short Story Award, which won her story "The Delaford Ladies' Detective Agency" publication in the acclaimed Dancing with Mr Darcy, edited by Sarah Waters.
Elizabeth studied English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds, graduating in 1995. She has delivered several talks and workshops at Swanwick Writers' Summer School, and has appeared twice at Ilkley Literature Festival Fringe.
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