Synopses & Reviews
Telling the story of Homer's "Odyssey" from the point of view of Penelope and her 12 hanged maids, the bestselling author of "Oryx and Crake" draws on Greek mythology for Volume 2 in the Myths series.
Homers Odyssey is not the only version of the story. Mythic material was originally oral, and also local -- a myth would be told one way in one place and quite differently in another. I have drawn on material other than the Odyssey, especially for the details of Penelopes parentage, her early life and marriage, and the scandalous rumors circulating about her. Ive 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 doesnt hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. Ive always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself.” -- from Margaret Atwoods Foreword to The Penelopiad