The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus
Publication Date: October 21, 2005
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In Homer's account in The Odyssey, Penelope - wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy - is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumours, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and - curiously - twelve of her maids. In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged Maids, asking: "What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?" In Atwood's dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing. With wit and verve, drawing on the storytelling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, she gives Penelope new life and reality - and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery.
About the AuthorMargaret Atwood is the internationally renowned author of such novels as "Oryx and Crake, Alias Grace", and "The Edible Woman". She is a novelist and a poet, and has also authored short story collections, critical studies, screenplays, radio scripts, and books.
Laural began working in regional theater as an actor at the age of 17. She has done over 20 years of stage work, and 16 years of audio book narration, having narrated over 100 titles in all genres. In addition, Laural has directed well over 100 audio titles, providing expertise on both sides of the microphone. In acknowledgement for years of excellence at her craft, Laural has received AudioFile's 'Earphones Award' many times over.