In Homer's account, Penelope is the constant wife. It is she who rules Odysseus's kingdom of Ithaca during his twenty-year absence at the Trojan War. She raises their wayward son and fends off over a hundred insistent suitors. When Odysseus finally returns-having vanquished monsters, slept with goddesses and endured many other well-documented hardships-he kills the suitors and also, curiously, twelve of Penelope's maids.
Margaret Atwood tells the story through Penelope and her twelve hanged maids, asking: 'What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?' It's a dazzling, playful retelling, as wise and compassionate as it is haunting; as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing.
The Myths series gathers a diverse group of the finest writers of our time to provide a contemporary take on our most enduring myths.
'The Penelopiad shows Atwood making off with an especially well-guarded cultural treasure-and making it new, as she always does.' Independent Weekly