Medea is among the most notorious women in the canon of Greek tragedy: a woman scorned who sacrifices her own children to her jealous rage. In her gripping new novel, Christa Wolf expands this myth, revealing a fiercely independent woman ensnared in a brutal political battle.
Medea, driven by her conscience to leave her corrupt homeland, arrives in Corinth with her husband, the hero Jason. He is welcomed, but she is branded the outsider—and then she discovers the appalling secret behind the king's claim to power. Unwilling to ignore the horrifying truth about the state, she becomes a threat to the king and his ruthless advisors. Then abandoned by Jason and made a public scapegoat, she is reviled as a witch and a murderess.
Long a sharp-eyed political observer, Christa Wolf transforms this ancient tale into a startlingly relevant commentary on our times. Possessed of the enduring truths so treasured in the classics, and yet with a thoroughly contemporary spin, her Medea is a stunningly perceptive and probingly honest work of fiction.
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Christa Wolf was a famed writer and literary critic of the former East Germany. She studied at the University of Jena and the University of Leipzig and worked as an editor until the 1963 publication of her first novel, Divided Heaven, which marked the beginning of her career as a writer. Her works, which reflect the ideological and political turmoil of living in a Nazi- and later communist-controlled Germany, include The Quest for Christa T., Medea, Patterns of Childhood, No Place on Earth, and the contentious novella What Remains. Despite a career fraught with controversy, she was the recipient of many prizes both before and after the war, including the Heinrich Mann Prize, Georg Büchner Prize, Elisabeth Langgässer Prize, and the first Deutscher Bücherpreis (German Book Prize). She died in 2011.
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