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 Atheaeum, 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 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 female power - an inversion of the traditional balance of power that throws a light on so-called monstrosity.
Author: Martine Desjardins
About the Author
Desjardins, Martine: - Martine Desjardins was born in the Town of Mount Royal, Québec, in 1957. The second child of six, she started writing short stories when she was seventeen. After receiving a bachelor's degree in Russian and Italian studies at the Université de Montréal, she went on to complete a master's degree in comparative literature, exploring humour in Dostoevsky's The Devils. She worked as an assistant editor-in-chief at ELLE Québec magazine for four years before leaving to devote herself to writing. 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 de ELLE Québec in 1998. Talonbooks has published six translations of her more recent novels, including Maleficium, a tour de force short-listed for the 2010 Governor General's Literary Award for French Fiction and Québec Prix des libraires. In her free time, Desjardins paints miniature models of ruins overgrown with vegetation.Avasilichioaei, Oana: - Oana Avasilichioaei interweaves poetry, translation, photography, sound, and performance to explore an expanded idea of language (whether textual, visual, aural, etc.) as reverberatory and evolutionary, polylingual and polyphonic poetics, historical structures, borders and movement. Her six poetry collections include We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry), Limbinal (Talonbooks, 2015), and Eight Track (Talonbooks, 2019), nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. Recent sound-performance works include EIGHT OVER TWO (2019, Semi Silent Award) and OPERATOR (2018), and she is currently writing a libretto for a one-act opera (FAWN, Toronto). She has also translated eight books of poetry and prose from French and Romanian, including Bertrand Laverdure's Readopolis (Book*hug, 2017, Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction). Based in Montréal, Avasilichioaei frequently crosses borders to perform her work in Canada, the United States, and Europe, and she was the 2018 Audain Visual Artist in Residence at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. See oanalab website.