Esther Friesner

Fantasy author Esther Friesner uses humor and imagination in her writing to question the tropes and clichés about women in general and feminists in particular. Friesner graduated from Vassar College before earning a PhD in Spanish from Yale University, where she taught for several years. Her writing career has been astonishingly prolific: since selling her first short story, “The Stuff of Heroes,” in 1982, she has published 43 novels and more than 200 short stories, poems, and articles, and she has edited eleven anthologies as of 2017. Her work often uses humor to subvert stereotypes, which allows her to talk to a broad audience about issues like gender equality or social justice. In 1996 she began editing her popular Chicks in Chainmail anthologies, in which various authors tackle fantasy tropes like the princess tired of waiting for rescue, or women’s armor that is far more decorative than functional. In 2007 she created her Princess of Myth series of young-adult books, featuring legendary women such as Helen of Troy and Nefertiti rescuing themselves.

Topics: Feminism, Fiction

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Fantasy writer Esther Friesner in 2006. Photo courtesy of Catriona Sparks via Wikimedia Commons.

Date of Birth

Brooklyn, NY
United States

Writer, Editor, Professor

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Esther Friesner." (Viewed on September 22, 2019) <>.


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