Thursday, July 11, 2013

'Peeta with a Disability' fics: in which Little Miss Mionie cringes at inaccuracies and gets annoyed about ableism

Warning: this post has Little Miss Mionie going all social justice-y on yo' ass. She will not apologise for this. 

'Consequences' by leabharlann on DA

The lovely Fiona asked if we could find her fics where Peeta is disabled. Man oh man, they are hard to find! It's hardly surprising, since disabled people are a minority in our society and perhaps a lot of writers who don't have a disability aren't interested in creating a character with one, either because they're plain not interested, or because they are afraid of portraying a disability accurately. Perhaps this isn't helped by the fact that the moviemakers didn't include Peeta losing his leg in the The Hunger Games film (personally, I'm still hoping for a plot twist at the start of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.) The fanfiction world in general is pretty inclusive when it comes to the rainbow spectrum of sexuality (to a lesser extent, gender) and of race, but when it comes to disabilities, learning difficulties and impairments, ableism rules undeniably. This is a problem that hopefully our fellow awesome writers who either have a disability, difficulty or impairment and their friends can resolve by writing some kick-ass fics in the future! There is something quite ironic about an able-bodied person writing this post, too, so please do keep that in mind.

I studied sign language last year, and I know that Deaf people don't see their inability to hear as a disability but rather a communication difficulty; this makes perfect sense to me and I respect that in the real world. I naturally cringe away from fics with characters who are Deaf because I am convinced someone will be doing something wrong, so I don't actively seek them out, which is why I haven't reviewed any before this post. I don't really like including them in this post, but basically, without them, this post would be me ranting about social injustices and ableism without any fic recs. (Boring for most people, I'm sure). Plus, I'm sure Fiona and others who seek out 'disabled-Peeta' fics are looking for plots such as these. So, with a little cringing, I list for ye:

With Eyes To Hear by Amelia Day
Summary: Peeta Mellark has always relied on two things: his eyes and Katniss Everdeen. They've never thought of themselves as anything but's everyone else who has always had the issue. Modern Day AU.
Review: Why do all disability!fics have such cliche titles? Apart from that, this fic is cute and well done. I love the characterisations of younger Peeta and Katniss in the first chapter. The sign language and Deaf culture is handled well; my only wish is that it wasn't alternate universe. Otherwise, it reads like a nicely done romance/drama. (It actually reads to me a lot like a AH Twilight fic!)

Stories of Us by Ameiko
Summary: AU. Katniss never imagined that The Great War would change her life in the secluded PA woods, but it did. She also never imagine that crippled soldier Peter "Peeta" Mellark could heal her heart.
Review: I love all the American historical settings that are popping up in Hunger Games fics lately! This plot is great and I think, especially for the setting, that Peeta as an amputee has been treated very well by the writer.

A Way With Words by The Jumble Book
Summary: Peeta's been rescued from the Capitol and he's not been Hijacked. However he's not escaped unscathed. Snow always knew the boy had, had a way with words. How will Peeta cope without that talent? How will the rebellion cope without it? How will Katniss?
Review: This author works with people with disabilities, so there's an expectation for this fic to be well done. I enjoyed the plot (it's a believable way for Peeta to become disabled in a canon world), and Katniss' narration is a nice change from all the Peeta narration in other fics where he's the main character. It does leave a bit of a gap, however, knowing what he's thinking and feeling in the first couple of chapters before sign language is introduced. Also, I feel like Katniss especially picks up sign language super quickly in this fic, and Gale is relegated to OCC angry evil guy. It's not the best fic, but it's pretty good!

I couldn't find any *good* fics with characters who are blind, or who had a learning difficulty or developmental delay, so if you know of any, please comment below!

Finally, here are some excellent links on disabilities in The Hunger Games fandom and fanfiction:
Writing Disability in Fanfic: An Insider's View (blindness in particular)
Some Clues On How Not To Write Deaf Characters
So, How ABOUT Those Hunger Games?
Disability: Lost in the Translation of the Hunger Games

~ Little Miss Mionie


  1. There is also Alone in a Crowded Room by husband/wife duo wallaston, in which Peeta is afflicted with severe brain damage. It's long, but seriously one of the best fics I've ever read!

  2. there is a blind peeta in "life unexpected" by kirasen89 on ff.


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