Event 18

Natalie Haynes talks to Francine Stock

Stone Blind

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle, Great Hall)

The presenter of Stand Up for the Classics brings the infamous Medusa to life as never before.

Medusa is the only mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her sisters, she quickly realizes that she is the only one who gets older, experiences change, feels weakness. Her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.

When desire pushes Poseidon to commit the unforgivable, Medusa’s mortal life is changed for ever. Her punishment is to be turned into a Gorgon: sharp teeth, snakes for hair, and a gaze that will turn any living creature to stone. Appalled by her own reflection, Medusa can no longer look upon anything she loves without destroying it. She condemns herself to a life of solitude in the shadows to limit her murderous range. That is, until Perseus embarks upon a fateful quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon.

This is the story of how a young woman became a monster. And how she was never really a monster at all. Previous books by the author include The Women’s Prize-shortlisted A Thousand Ships, The Children of Jocasta and Pandora’s Jar.

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Natalie Haynes talks to Francine Stock