Dasein, Red Elephant.

Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad


The Austinist has a short review of Margeret Atwood’s latest novel The Penelopiad. I haven’t been keeping up with Atwood’s work but after watching her read Oryx and Crake at MIT, i’m really looking forward to reading this one.

Atwood’s latest “novel,” The Penelopiad, one of the inaugural stories in the Canongate myth series, is a retelling of the Greek classic, The Odyssey, from Penelope’s point of view…In the traditional tale, while Helen and Odysseus were off having various adventures and affairs, Penelope was the ever-faithful wife, keeping the home fires burning for more than 20 years despite being besieged by more than a hundred eager suitors, whom she staved off with various tricks. Odysseus eventually returned home, killed the suitors, and—for good measure—hanged twelve of Penelope’s maids.

But was Penelope really so faithful? And why did Odysseus kill those twelve maids? Those are the questions that led Atwood to revisit the story, with Penelope narrating from Hades.


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