An incendiary new novel based on the myth of Medusa from noted author Martine Desjardins
She’s been called Medusa for so long that she’s forgotten her real name. She walks with her head down, her face hidden behind her hair to spare others the sight of her Deformities – eyes so horrible they repel women and petrify men. She herself never dares to look in a mirror. Driven from her family home, Medusa is locked up in the Athenæum, an institute for young “malformed” girls, which stands on the shores of a lake infested with jellyfish. In this dismal abyss, where Benefactors indulge in cruel games with their protégées, she gradually discovers the prodigious and formidable faculties of her ocular Sickenings. The day when Medusa finally emerges from her confinement, she sows destruction in her path. But before she can take revenge on the Benefactors who humiliated her, she’ll first have to face the treacherous gaze of her nemesis – and the deadly gaze of her own Abominations.
Martine Desjardins’s chilling and poetic Medusa is a provocative story of women’s body shame and men’s body shaming, phallocratic oppression, and the power of femininity – an inversion of the traditional balance of power that throws a light on so-called monstrosity.
About the author
Born in the Town of Mount Royal in Quebec, Martine Desjardins worked as an assistant editor-in-chief at ELLE Québec magazine for four years before leaving to devote herself to writing. Presently she works as a free-lance rewriter, translator and journalist for L’actualité, an award-winning French-language current affairs magazine in Canada. Her first novel, Le cercle de Clara was published by Leméac in 1997, and was nominated for both the Prix littéraires du Québec and the Grand prix des lectrices Elle Québec in 1998. It has been published by Talonbooks in English as Fairy Ring.
Fred A. Reed
International journalist and award-winning literary translator Fred A. Reed is also a respected specialist on politics and religion in the Middle East. After several years as a librarian and trade union activist at the Montreal Gazette, Reed began reporting from Islamic Iran in 1984, visiting the Islamic Republic thirty times since then. He has also reported extensively on Middle Eastern affairs for La Presse, CBC Radio-Canada and Le Devoir. Reed is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Award for translation.
Award-winning author and literary translator David Homel also works as a journalist, editor and screenwriter. He was born in Chicago in 1952 but left at the end of the tumultuous 1960s and continued his education in Europe and Toronto before settling in Montreal in around 1980. He worked at a variety of industrial jobs before beginning to write fiction in the mid-1980s. His six novels to date have been translated into several languages and published around the world.