The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus [UNABRIDGED]

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 15 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

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, “I’ve 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 doesn’t hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. I’ve 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.
 

About Margaret Atwood

See more books from this Author
Born November 18, 1939, in Ottawa, Canada, Margaret Atwood spent her early years in the northern Quebec wilderness. Settling in Toronto in 1946, she continued to spend summers in the northern woods. This experience provided much of the thematic material for her verse. She began her writing career as a poet, short story writer, cartoonist, and reviewer for her high school paper. She received a B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto in 1961 and an M.A. from Radcliff College in 1962. Atwood's first book of verse, Double Persephone, was published in 1961 and was awarded the E. J. Pratt Medal. She has published numerous books of poetry, novels, story collections, critical work, juvenile work, and radio and teleplays. Her works include The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970), Power Politics (1971), Cat's Eye (1986), The Robber Bride (1993), Morning in the Buried House (1995), and Alias Grace (1996). Many of her works focus on women's issues. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and fiction including the Prince of Asturias award for Literature, the Booker Prize, the Governor General's Award in 1966 for The Circle Game and in 1986 for The Handmaid's Tale, which also won the very first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987.
 
Published December 1, 2007 by Canongate U.S.. 228 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Self Help, Humor & Entertainment, Parenting & Relationships, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Penelopiad

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

I loved the pithy brilliance of Margaret Atwood's book which viewed The Odyssey from Penelope's perspective.

Aug 03 2007 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong (Canongate £12, pp208) The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (Canongate £12, pp208) Weight by Jeanette Winterson (Canongate £12, pp208) Once there was a single good book, which enshrined the truth in an authorised version.

Oct 23 2005 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Drawing on a range of sources, in addition to The Odyssey, Atwood scripts the narrative of Penelope, the faithful and devoted wife of Odysseus and her 12 maids, who were killed upon the master's return.

| Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

NPR

See more reviews from this publication

Alan Cheuse reviews Margaret Atwood's new novel, The Penelopiad.

Nov 25 2005 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Book Reporter

We also learn that Penelope herself is haunted by the gruesome murder of her twelve youngest, most beautiful handmaidens --- most of whom had been raped by Penelope's greedy suitors --- at the hands of Odysseus and Telemachus.

Jan 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

The Star

See more reviews from this publication

Satanically witty and yet profoundly moving, Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad is a pitiless indictment of the horrors that men bring onto women, but even more frighteningly, the horrors that women do unto each other.

Jan 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

their varying poetic styles are sometimes awkward and sometimes entertaining, but the conflicts in viewpoint cunningly provide a dramatic and tonal tension that neatly complements the story's accomplished but relatively uneventful flow.

Jan 18 2006 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Oct 21, 2005 Published in issue #847 Oct 28, 2005 Order article reprints

Oct 26 2005 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Suite 101

MicMac tribal stories reflect how eastern Canadian landscapes were formed as well as realistically depict human psychology during extremely stressful times.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Pajiba

This was an interesting experiment, but offers little beyond that, so I’m looking forward to reading another of Atwood’s novels over her shorter work.

Feb 17 2009 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

London Review of Books

‘This is what I wished would happen’ – when she was alive, presumably – ‘but like so many of my wishes it failed to come true.’ The voice that Atwood gives Penelope’s ghost is modern, matter-of-fact, smart, funny, unillusioned: ‘Every once in a while the fogs part and we get a glimpse of the worl...

| Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Curious Book Fans

Penelope peels off the layers of her story, how she got to Hades, how her girls got there too, how their crime was ‘to be raped without permission’ (there’s apparently nothing wrong with the rape which is ‘only to be expected’, it’s the lack of permission being granted by their master that makes ...

Dec 14 2012 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Project MUSE

Porteous launched a fundraising campaign called The Penelopiad Circle, imploring women to champion the production financially, stating that this campaign was about "women supporting women in a show about strength and resourcefulness," two characteristics that inspired each scene of Porteous's pro...

| Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Buried Under Books

It isn’t until the story tackles the aftermath of the maids’ killings and the injustice dealt them by modern analyses that the full force of Atwood’s anger reveals itself like a punch to the solar plexus: You don’t have to think of us as real girls, real flesh and blood, real pain, real inju...

Jan 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Fr. Z's Blog

And that is what I find especially troubling: the fact that Atwood’s book is required reading at St. Thomas SHOULD shock me, it SHOULD surprise me, and it SHOULD be seen as unusual, but it does not do any of these things because it fits perfectly with my Catholic university experience and that of...

Oct 13 2007 | Read Full Review of The Penelopiad: The Myth of P...

Reader Rating for The Penelopiad
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 188 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×