Margaret Atwood returns with a shrewd, funny, and insightful retelling of the myth of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope. Describing her own remarkable vision, the author writes in the foreword, 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. One of the high points of literary fiction in 2005, this critically acclaimed story found a vast audience and is finally available in paperback.