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    ISBN: 9781772013856 | Paperback

    186 pages | Pub. Date: 20220818
    5.5 W × 8.5 H × 1 D inches
    forthcoming | Fiction | Bisac: FIC019000
    Rights: WORLD

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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.

Translated by Oana Avasilichioaei

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) and Limbinal (Talonbooks, 2015).

Read more about Oana Avasilichioaei


By Martine Desjardins

Martine Desjardins was born in the Town of Mount Royal, Québec, in 1957. 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. Desjardins currently lives in the Town of Mount Royal. In her free time, she paints miniature models of ruins overgrown with vegetation.

Read more about Martine Desjardins


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