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Mary Meigs.

Vancouver, Talonbooks, c1983.
162pp, paper, $8.95.
ISBN 0-88922-210-X.

Reviewed by Joan McGrath.

Volume 12 Number 2
1984 March

According to legend, the Medusa head was a thing of terrifying and hypnotic beauty: those who gazed upon it turned to stone. In this intricately detailed account of a lesbian menage a trois, the Medusa head is the interloper "Andrée," whose presence almost destroys the longtime relationship of author Mary Meigs and her lover, Canadian author Marie-Claire Blais.

Marie-Claire and Andrée had met and fallen in love at a literary event in Paris. Later, Mary, too, falls in love with the bewitching Andrée, who is a creature of infinite charm, sometimes. She is also a creature of wildly fluctuating moods and furies, and life snared with her becomes a trial. If she is not constantly wooed and placated, everyone pays. The three cannot live in harmony. Andrée delights in discord and is intent upon destruction of the tie between Mary and Marie-Claire, by any means of deception or distortion. The tension becomes unbearable; plainly Andrée's machinations are succeeding. One of the three must leave. Just in time, Mary and Marie-Claire reclaim each other and resolve the intolerable situation.

Marie-Claire Blais and "Andrée," both novelists, have drawn upon the events of this year of storm for use in their own fiction. This third perspective, a piece of conscientious soul-searching combined with a meticulous attempt at reconstruction of an emotional maelstrom now long past, is a fascinating foray into a world of introspection and emotionalism foreign to all but a very few. It is a story as dense and tangled as rank jungle growth. For those with "jungle" tastes.

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, ON.
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