Yuletide Traditions: “Sexing the Pumpkin” and “Pumpkins Are Not the Only Fruit” by ratherbrightred

Writers and fan written narratives have been in the news lately, thanks to Caitlin Moran and the nasty stunt she pulled at the Sherlock series 3 preview at the BFI. The special reserve of ridicule some people reserve for fan fiction, writers, and artists has always puzzled me. From certain quarters, it comes across as deeply homophobic — as many fan written narratives exploring the dynamics of same-sex relationships, gender, and queer themes in a setting with popular characters are queer readings of an existing, ostensibly heteronormative text. The academic in me wants to argue that these narratives are one more interpretation of literature and art, whose morphology keeps the conversation about literature and media narratives alive and relevant and the often privileged criticism of them heretofore has been inexcusably callow. The queer woman wants to bash someone in the face with a chair. The person who has enjoyed fan written narratives and transformative works since she was a teenager is just annoyed.

— Photo courtesy of mastergavedobbyasock.

All that said, one of my favorite yuletide re-reads that has emerged in the past few years has been ratherbrightred’s “Pumpkin” duology. It’s a fan-written narrative. It’s a Harry Potter fan-written narrative. It’s Snape/Black narrative. It’s an FtM trans-gay AU romance with titles inspired by the works of Jeanette Winterson (what’s not to like?). The first story, Sexing the Pumpkin, came out a week before Christmas in 2007 and the sequel came out in November the following year. By some odd coincidence, I ended up locating and reading both of them on December 25, two years running, and it’s a wonderful time to revisit them. The sequel, Pumpkins Are Not the Only Fruit, includes probably the best depiction of what a Christmas Day present exchange between these two would be like. The stories explore gender identity, attraction, deep stealth, and what love for everything that you are might look like when you’ve endured a lifetime without it. They’re *lovely*.

~ by blackmoodcraft on December 21, 2013.

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