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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 Atwooda (TM)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.
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.