The national bestselling author of A Thousand Ships and Pandora's Jar returns with a fresh and stunningly perceptive take on the story of Medusa, the original monstered woman.
"Haynes is master of her trade . . . She succeeds in breathing warm life into some of our oldest stories.”—Telegraph (UK)
This is the story of how a young woman became a monster.
And how she was never really a monster at all.
The only mortal in a family of gods, Medusa was the most beautiful of the Gorgon sisters. Yet unlike her siblings, Medusa grows older, experiences change, feels weakness. Her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.
When desire drives Poseidon to assault Medusa in Athene’s temple, the goddess is enraged. Furious that her temple was violated, Athene takes revenge—on the young woman. Punishing her for Poseidon’s actions, Athene transforms Medusa into a monster with sharp teeth, snakes for hair, and a gaze that will turn any living creature to stone. Cursed with destroying all she loves with one look, Medusa condemns herself to a life of solitude.
Until Perseus embarks upon a fateful quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .
In Stone Blind, classicist and comedian Natalie Haynes turns our understanding of this legendary myth on its head, bringing empathy and nuance to one of the earliest stories in which a woman—injured by a powerful man—is blamed and punished for the assault. Delving into the origins of this mythic tale, Haynes revitalizes and reconstructs Medusa’s story with her passion and fierce wit, offering a timely retelling of this classic myth that speaks to us today.