“A Most Unlikely Hero”: Disability, Masculinity, and Sexuality in Harlequin Superromance Novels

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Here's the abstract:

With this timely intervention, Jonathan Allan expands the existing scholarship on the male hero in the genre of the popular romance novel, an inherently gendered genre, by focusing on the intersections between masculinity and disability in two contemporary US-American popular romance novels: A Man Like Mac (2000) by Fay Robinson and A Hero in the Making (2012) by Kay Stockham. Drawing on disability studies and crip theory, Allan shows how the novels construct the disabled hero’s desirability and uses his reading for a theoretical reflection, elaborating on the pitfalls of an exclusive embrace of a reparative perspective that would construe the popular romance novel as a potential site for ‘recovering’ the disabled body. He poignantly outlines possible limits of this reader-oriented approach and argues for complementing it with a paranoid position.