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The Penelopiad : The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus
by Margaret Eleanor Atwood and Laural Merlington

Overview - In Homer's account in The Odyssey, Penelope - wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy - is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumours, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously.  Read more...

 
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More About The Penelopiad by Margaret Eleanor Atwood; Laural Merlington
 
 
 
Overview
In Homer's account in The Odyssey, Penelope - wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy - is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumours, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and - curiously - twelve of her maids. In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged Maids, asking: "What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?" In Atwood's dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing. With wit and verve, drawing on the storytelling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, she gives Penelope new life and reality - and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781423307778
  • ISBN-10: 1423307771
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publish Date: October 2005


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

 
BookPage Reviews

Sukey's favorite

Ever wonder what it was really like for Penelope, Odysseus's ever-faithful wife, to keep it all going for 20 years while "wily" Odysseus was having great adventures, sailing around, sleeping with gorgeous goddesses, outwitting villains and seeing the sights? It can't have been easy to raise a son, run the kingdom of Ithaca and evade the pack of sleazy suitors who tried to eat her out of house and home as they attempted to win her hand. We need wonder no more. The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood's totally charming riff on being Penelope, has given this paragon of female virtue a voice of her own, augmented by the 12 ill-fated maids who make up a traditional Greek chorus, all charmingly recreated here by Laural Merlington. Penelope's is a wry, witty, worldly wise voice that's long deserved to be heard. She was smart and crafty, perhaps as wily as her renowned husband, and now she gives us the inside scoop on Homer's heady tale.

 
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