Margaret Atwood: The Penelopiad (1290 words)


The Penelopiad (2005) is the first novel of the Myth Series instigated by Canongate publishers. Atwood’s novel presents the story of Odysseus’s return from the Trojan War from the point of view of those who stayed behind, Penelope and the maids, and the event of the maids’ hanging – which was mentioned in one line in The Odyssey – is the crux of The Penelopiad. Atwood justifies why she chose this particular story after being approached by editor Jamie Byng thus: “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” (Atwood, 2005, p. xv).

While Atwood …

Citation: Crawford, Amy Suzanne. "The Penelopiad". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 November 2012 [, accessed 22 October 2020.]

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