The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (Paperback)
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Margaret Atwood returns with a shrewd, funny, and insightful retelling of the myth of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope. Describing her own remarkable vision, the author writes in the foreword, I’ve chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of the Odyssey: What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in the Odyssey doesn’t hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. I’ve always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself.” One of the high points of literary fiction in 2005, this critically acclaimed story found a vast audience and is finally available in paperback.
About the Author
Nominated for the inaugural 2005 Man Booker International Prize, which recognizes one writer for his or her outstanding achievement in fiction, Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty-five internationally acclaimed works of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her numerous awards include the Governor General s Award for The Handmaid s Tale, and the Giller Prize and Italian Premio Mondale for Alias Grace. The Handmaid s Tale, Cat s Eye, Alias Grace, and Oryx and Crake were all shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, which she won with The Blind Assassin. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, has been awarded the Norwegian Order of Literary Merit and the French Chevalier dans l Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and is a Foreign Honorary Member for Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in Toronto.
Half-Dorothy Parker, half-Desperate Housewives.” The Independent (UK)
By turns slyly funny and fiercely indignant, Ms. Atwood’s imaginative, ingeniously constructed deconstruction’ of the old tale reveals it in a newand refreshingly differentlight.” The Washington Times
Hereat the outset of the twenty-first century, with everyone else looking forward with great intensity and hoping to predict what our mysterious future might bringis Margaret Atwood, one of the most admired practitioners of the novel in North America, taking the measure of the old Odyssey itself with a steady gaze and asking the reader to follow forthwith, even as she coolly rewrites that oral epic from the point of view of the hero’s wife.” Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune