Welcome to the podcast where we explore the stories behind the books that captivate us. Today, we’re diving into “Stone Blind” by Natalie Haynes. This retelling of the Medusa myth delves into the history of the women at the center of the story and the monster we’ve been taught to fear.
The story begins with Medusa, the only mortal of the Gorgons, residing with her sisters in a windswept cave by the sea. They are fully at the mercy of the whims and desires of the gods. When the sea god Poseidon enacts violence against her in the Temple of Athene, Athene takes her revenge, transforming Medusa from a young woman into a monster.
In “Stone Blind,” Natalie Haynes emphasizes the intersection of time and place, exploring the complex relationships and powerful forces at play within the Medusa myth. Haynes’s narrative is woven with seemingly insignificant events that take shape, strike, and then fade into the background, leaving behind echoes that linger and leave an imprint on every event that takes place.
The story is not solely focused on the figure of Medusa. Instead, Haynes delves into the history of the women at the center of the story and the monster we’ve been taught to fear. There are a broad range of voices present, from godly beings to nymphs and even animals lending their eyes to the narrative voice.
Medusa’s golden childhood by the sea is completely torn asunder by the acts of violence against her by Poseidon and Athene. Resigned to never harm a living thing, she retreats to a life of solitude, until a quest blinded by arrogance places the hero Perseus on her shores.
As the focus shifts back to Perseus, it becomes clear that existing in spite of overtly monstrous qualities can equate to a loss of agency in the wrong hands. In “Stone Blind,” Haynes crafts a Medusa retelling that will withstand the test of time, bringing new meaning to the Medusa figure and every woman held within the confines of her myth.
“Stone Blind” by Natalie Haynes is a thought-provoking and beautifully written retelling of the Medusa myth. It delves into the complex relationships and powerful forces at play within the story and explores the history of the women at the center of the tale.
Thanks for listening to our podcast about “Stone Blind” by Natalie Haynes. Tune in next time for more stories behind the books that captivate us.