The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood


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Odysseus’s story is well-known (I hope): the adventures and hijinks that took him away for twenty years from Ithaca and from his wife Penelope. 

In this novel the perspective is tilted: the narrator is Penelope herself, who, from the Land of the Death, thinks it’s time to tell her side of the story.

This way Margaret Atwood retraces Penelope’s life, showing a woman more alive than the faithful wife in the Odyssey, from her childhood to the marriage with Odysseus, his departure from Ithaca and the arrival of the suitors.

Penelope’s narration is interposed by the chorus of the twelve maids who were hanged after Odysseus came back, and with these voices the story takes another different turn.

The novel is compelling and fluid, Penelope stands out realist and ironical, and in the same time her husband’s adventure take a new shape, less mythical and more human.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood ★★★★☆

*I read this book in english