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By Martine Desjardins

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.

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