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Medusa's Gift Hardcover – September 10, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 199 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 1st edition (September 10, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394582292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394582290
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,971,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this frothy spoof of seedy celebritydom, Gould ( A Sea Change ; Such Good Friends ) gathers "a colony of outcasts" who loaf on the Aegean isle of Medusa and prey on one another's nasty secrets. After aging, near-legendary actress Magdalene--reputed former mistress of "the president"--is stung by the deadly medusa jellyfish during a reckless evening swim, film crews, archivists and gossipmongers arrive to wait for her to die. Besides interviewing Magdalene, the assembled hope to dig into her trunkful of photos and scandalous mementos. Among the devoted flock is film noir scholar Grace Craven, who arrives with her ex-paramour, movie museum director S. Z. Hroch, and cultivates Magdalene with such amorous lesbian intensity that Magdalene begins to view Grace as a human variation of the medusa. As Magdalene's wounds heal and reopen, she meditates on death and her ruined beauty, reliving fantasies and replaying favorite cinematic scenes. Gould writes playfully, punningly, and with elegant malice, but while the narrative surface sparkles, the novel remains vacuous and the flimsy, lampooned characters ultimately fail to engage the reader.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is a fanciful, poetic blend of myth and legend that combines past and present events while exploring the nature of fame. Magdalene is a legendary star, a sex goddess who is the embodiment of the desired woman. She has been missing for 20 years. Did she drown? Commit suicide? Was she the victim of a love triangle? In a startling opening scene, Magdalene has returned and is stung by a medusa, or jellyfish, while swimming off an island in the Aegean. Her face is scarred, made hideous like the Medusa of myth. While recovering, she is besieged by historians, filmmakers, and scandal seekers who want to know the truth of her life and presumed death. Through veiled hints, memories, and diaries, Magdalene's story gradually emerges in this offbeat, provocative novel. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/91.
- Stephanie Furtsch, New Rochelle
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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