Among the most unusual narratives to emerge from Europe in recent years, Medusa: The Fourth Kingdom reexamines the myth of the petrifying Gorgon, offering a new perspective on femininity, passion, and self-creation.
The mythological figure of Medusa haunts the life of a young Italian woman, who becomes obsessed with a reticent, emotionally distant man. We hear the woman's account of their meetings, their lovemaking, her longing. We have another view of her story through a journal account written by one of her friends, who is, among other things, engaged in a study of the myth of Medusa. From diverse perspectives we see her path to independence and wholeness, a initiatory journey that requires courage and love.
A poetic and meticulously constructed story of a woman's quest for transformation, Medusa takes into account both ordinary and magical aspects of reality to create a contemporary psychological parable.
"Whenever a contemporary Italian writer awakens one of the Mediterranean's slumbering myths, we understand that it had never died. Thus the myth of Medusa, who many of us see only as a horrid, severed, snake-covered head, the very vision of female menace, comes to us anew in Marina Minghelli's intriguing, hermetic first novel. Here, Minghelli treats us to a privileged view of Medusa the girl, a pensive, bewildered beauty whose quest is complicated by her need to understand the complex reactions she causes in others. Through this charming, doomed personage and her counterpart in the novel's contemporary plot, we are given an inside look at the challenges and promise of the feminine today." Beverly Allen
". . . Minghelli's meditation on the Medusa legend (the first volume in City Lights' Italian Voices series) combines formal innovation with lyrical insights into women's psychology." Publishers Weekly
Marina Minghelli, historian and writer, is the author of the prize-winning book Santa Marina la travestita, a historical study of feminine symbology. She lives in Rome.
Beverly Allen's books include: Pier Paolo Pasolini:The Poetics of Heresy; The Defiant Muse: Italian Feminist Poetry; Rape Warfare: The Hidden Genocide in Bosnia-Herzogovina and Croatia; and Revisioning Italy: National Identity and Global Culture.