Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

English

First Advisor

Elisabeth Sheffield

Second Advisor

Marcia Yonemoto

Third Advisor

Rachael Deagman

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

Elma has spent all her life in Harthshore, the only town in the Thieving District, a Guild Kingdom ruled by a cold and absent king. Just past seventeen, Elma is turned on her head when she’s refused entry into her village’s coven of witches. She’s lazy, heartbroken, and afraid of talking to the girl she likes, but none of this will matter soon. War is looming in the eastern mountains, the Thief King has risen from a year spent in grief, and Aeleth Tor’s high priestess has been murdered. It’s high summer, and deep in the woods, the old magics are waking.

This project presents part one of Tuscany Yellow and the Thief King, a queer fantasy novel bearing the hallmarks of classic high fantasy while placing queer narratives at the forefront of the story. Fantasy, as a genre, lacks substantial queer representation, often failing to acknowledge the experiences of its readership. In this work I challenge heteronormative writing conventions in the genre by presenting a world and a narrative that explicitly makes room for queer voices. In a genre that so often builds heroes, by showing that the most ordinary among us can become one by being brave, and kind, and good, marginalized voices are often excluded from that telling. As Elma enters a story about text, and healing, and magic, Tuscany Yellow demonstrates the need for readers to be able to see themselves in a fantasy world to know that they can go there.

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