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An intimate look into the life of a legendary mythical villain who has so often been stripped of her voice and humanity in this debut novel, perfect for fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe and the works of Jennifer Saint.
You know how Medusa’s story ends, but you’ve never heard her tell her own story… until now.
The only mortal daughter of two sea gods, and a priestess of Athena, Medusa was a woman who thought she had found her place in the world. But when Medusa suffers a horrific violation at the hands of Poseidon, Athena is outraged over the desecration of her name and sends a message by transforming Medusa into the snake-haired monster of legend. With one look, any who meet her gaze is turned to stone. Word of her monstrosity travels fast, igniting a king’s fear so greatly that he commands the boy-hero Perseus to bring him her head. With a power that will spare no one, Medusa begins to wonder if this is a blessing or a curse. Medusa only knows that she must leave the city she has come to call home before she harms another soul.
Searching for a haven free from mortals, anger buoying her every step, Medusa journeys across ancient Greece. Her eyes are hidden beneath a blindfold, with nothing but the snakes for company. Through her travels, Medusa discovers solace and understanding in the mythical figures she stumbles upon: A debaucherous wine god, an alluring nymph, and a three-headed dog. But one cannot escape fate forever. As Perseus closes in, Medusa faces a choice: become the monster everyone expects her to be, or cling to the last piece of her humanity.
“Medusa by Nataly Gruender is an imaginative and thought-provoking retelling of the myth of Medusa. Gruender is not afraid to tackle the more challenging aspects of Greek mythology, resulting in a novel that is completely relevant to modern readers.”
"Neil Gaiman meets Madeline Miller in this complex and nuanced portrayal of the legendary Medusa. Nataly Gruender’s subject in Medusa is not just the gorgon herself, but the social milieu of the gods, the relationship between mortal and immortal, and that eternal hobgoblin of the Greeks: fate. You might think you already know Medusa’s story, and how it ends, but en route to its destination, Medusa tackles timely subject matter: sisterhood, men in positions of power abusing their privilege, and what it means to be beautiful or ugly in the gaze of others. Gruender accomplishes all of this with gripping sentences that will stop you in your tracks, or turn you to stone."
"In MEDUSA, Nataly Gruender offers an evocative and sympathetic voice to one of history's most maligned and misunderstood mythic figures, the feared Gorgon, Medusa. Often dismissed as a vindictive and vengeful monster, in Gruender's hands, Medusa's story is fully told, one of a beautiful mortal woman that became a monstrous immortal legend; born of and victimized by gods, stigmatized by mortals and destined to fulfill a prophecy that is both her curse and her gift; a power that will sustain her rise in the wake of those who seek her fall. With profound dignity, grace and wit, Gruender's MEDUSA is a delightful addition to the pantheon mythic Greek retellings."
- On Sale
- Aug 13, 2024
- Page Count
- 432 pages
- Grand Central Publishing