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The Penelopiad Now that all the others have run out of air, it s my turn to do a little story making 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 rumors, 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 story telling 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

10 thoughts on “The Penelopiad

  1. says:

    B 77% Good NotesIt succeeds in its ambitious concept and style, but comes offlike a postscript to The Odyssey than its own story.

  2. says:

    we had no voice we had no namewe had no choicewe had one faceone face the same we took the blameit was no fairbut now w re herewe re all here toothe same as you The truly successful myths are those that can be retold over and over from different angles and still speak to a contemporary audi

  3. says:

    Often I amuse myself by trying to imagine the ideas, conversations, or circumstances that led to the writing of certain books For example, I think Philippa Gregory wrote The Other Boleyn Girl because she wanted to write a smutty romance novel disguised as history, Shakespeare probably wrote

  4. says:

    Margaret Atwood gives us a reworked reinterpretation of Homer s The Odyssey that lends itself rather well to our present day in its contemporary echoes of our MeToo movement today We have the abandoned for 20 years, but faithful Penelope learning to manage the court in the absence of her phil

  5. says:

    This was technically a reread, but I couldn t remember the specific dates I read it the first time, so I recorded this as a first time read.Such an enjoyable, quick and surprising retelling of The Odyssey from Penelope s perspective Nearly everyone knows Odysseus, smart, witty, promiscuous tac

  6. says:

    And the moral of this rereread is still have nothing to report about this one Except that it s sheer brilliance, obviously I have it on very good authority that Margaret Atwood absolutely lurves this gif, just so you know And I m not even kidding I think. March 2015 The Greatness Syndrome when

  7. says:

    The Penelopiad or The Ballad of the Dead MaidsThis has been my introduction to Atwood and I have to admit that I feel slightly underwhelmed I went in with high expectations, wondering how Atwood will take the waiting widow of The Odyssey and transform it into a full length novel Turns out that s

  8. says:

    This was so beautifully written As someone who s fairly familiar with the myth of Penelope and Odysseus, it was quite fascinating to see how a modern day writer would spin the story Atwood did this brilliantly I love stories that write from the perspective of the main character, especially when t

  9. says:

    3We had no voice,We had no name,We had no choice,We had one face,One face the same This book focuses on the story of Penelope and the twelve maids immortalised in myth by the story of Odysseus This is told from Penelope s point of view as she wonders through the underworld, looking back on events

  10. says:

    I really do not like this book I find it to be very poorly constructed with glaring inconsistencies and sadly underdeveloped characters that were merely pastiches rather than living, breathing, feeling, multi layered human beings But I m lazy and not in the mood to write a review that deconstructs

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