Original title: Méduse

Publication Date:

October 2020



Original language and publisher

French | Editions Alto

Territories Handled

Netherlands, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Canada and US (English) (Talonbooks)
Italy (Alter Ego)


Literary Fiction


Original title: Méduse


The old-fashioned charm of the Gothic novel has its followers, and in Quebec, Martine Desjardins is their queen. . . . [Méduse] captures the zeitgeist of our times. – La Presse

Martine Desjardins offers a searing indictment of patriarchal power. Petrifying. – Le Devoir

She has been called Medusa for so long she forgot her real name. She walks with her head down, her face hidden behind the wildness of her hair, sparing people the sight of her deformities – a pair of eyes so horrendous they repulse women and petrify men. She has never dared to look at herself in a mirror.

Banished from her family’s home, she is locked up at the Athenæum, an institute for misshapen girls that stands on the shores of a jellyfish-infested lake. In the depths of this sinister place where Benefactors play cruel games with their protegés, Medusa gradually discovers the prodigious but frightening faculties of her Revoltings. Freed by a man who soon becomes another prison, she experiments with her abilities, learning to control and magnify their fury, wreaking destruction in her wake. As Medusa strives to exact her final revenge upon the Benefactors, she must face the treacherous eyes of her sworn enemy, and the deadly stare of her own Abominations.

In this dark and provocative book, Martine Desjardins offers a radical tale of oppression, shame, and female force. With a contemporary, feminist twist on a gothic universe, this novel sheds a crude and refined light on monstrosity.

Marketing Information

  • Shortlisted for the Prix Jacques-Brossard
  • Shortlisted for the Prix Aurora Boréal
  • French sample available