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The Penelopiad
The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus | Margaret Atwood
108 posts | 181 read | 155 to read
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.
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Tamra
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I read these three contemporary interpretations of Greek mythology this year and loved them as well! I am so glad I was “forced” by my antiquities course to step outside my comfort zone last year and read mythology because I would have never have guessed I‘d find it entertaining and intriguing. 😁 Then I wouldn‘t have had the pleasure of reading these beauties either.

Avidreader25 The Song of Achilles is wonderful! 3w
Lucy_Anywhere I loved The Song of Achilles! 3w
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SheilaChew
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Pickpick

I did it! Finished my reading goal for 2019! Snapped a pic of the lovely bookshelves at a nearby coffee shop earlier this week.
Another excellent work by Atwood . She doesn‘t disappoint!

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Kalalalatja
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Pickpick

Ever wondered what Penelope did all those years Odysseus was out adventuring, waring, tricking and exploring? This book gives Penelope‘s point of view, from being married off, always being in the shadow of her cousin, being disregarded, left behind and left to fend for herself in a world where a woman‘s word doesn‘t count for much. And in typical Atwood style, this is feminist, strong and a new take on a classic tale, and it was great!

jillrhudy Love!!! 😍 2mo
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kspenmoll
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Lindy That cover art looks like it's by Tamara de Lempicka. 4mo
Melissa_J Wow! That one is so much different from my edition of the book. 4mo
Librarybelle Such a pretty edition! 4mo
See All 7 Comments
kspenmoll @Lindy It is by Tamara de Lempicka! 4mo
Lindy @kspenmoll Her paintings are distinctive. 😊 4mo
batsy Cool cover 💖 4mo
kspenmoll @Librarybelle @Melissa_J @batsy I found it on the shelves at Barnes & Noble UConn. Loved it! 4mo
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kspenmoll
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Spent some time with hubby in UConn‘s B & N, whiling away the time until my son‘s class tonight ended. Love this mural that adorns a wall. Also picked up tagged book on their 50% off table. #artandbooks #TheOdyssey #Penelope

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BookishBecky
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LaraS

The gods often mumble.

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ImperfectCJ
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Mehso-so

Finished while cooking split pea soup. This, along with Madeline Miller's Circe, was a valuable addition to my reading of The Odyssey, but it didn't really grab me. The link between the slain maids and the maidens of Artemis is intriguing, but it seems underdeveloped and academic. And while I'm not sure I fault Penelope for being snarky, I would hope that a few thousand years would provide equanimity of a sort.

jchawkins To be fair, a lot of Margaret Atwood's writing comes off as academic. 7mo
ImperfectCJ @jchawkins Good point. But this did seem a little more like "isn't this a cool idea?" without really being tied into the story well. I expect more subtlety and finesse from Ms Atwood. 7mo
jchawkins Fair. This is one by her that I haven't read...I should give it a go. Have you seen her course on MasterClass? It's marvelous! 7mo
ImperfectCJ @jchawkins I've never been sure whether the MasterClasses were worth it or a gimmick. Sounds like hers, at least, is the real deal. Thanks for the recommendation! Have you read her retelling of The Tempest from the Hogarth Shakespeare series? Not all of them work for me, but I love that one. 7mo
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ImperfectCJ
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Fighting a virus is a good excuse for an impromptu readathon. Although I suppose Atwood's Maddaddam trilogy would be more apt.

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ThisIsLilli
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Pickpick

The Odyssey retold from the viewpoint of Penelope - what more could you ask for?! This is a first-person account which succeeds in retelling a well-worn myth in such a way that it is still both absorbing and intriguing. For someone who studied Classics and loves myth retellings, this was a fantastic read.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#thepenelopiad #margaretatwood #myth #theodyssey #retelling #firstperson #fivestars

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GatheringBooks
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#QuotsyMay19 Day 30: #Water. While I own a copy of this novel (along with may other Atwood titles), still have not read this yet.

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Tamra
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Pickpick

Another 5⭐️! What a clever & inventive feminist story that breathes life into Penelope, past and present. The humor too! The passage quoted above is a “video clip” from a modern day court hearing wherein Odysseus is having to defend himself against charges of murder. That last paragraph 😂😂😆

julesG Now I need to read this book! Thanks for the review. 8mo
Tamra @julesG I loved it and it‘s a quick read that you don‘t want to stop! Enjoy! 8mo
julesG Forgot to stack it. So thanks very much for your reply to my comment. 8mo
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Tamra
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“A stick used to beat other women with.”

Oh Penelope! 😫

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Chrissyreadit
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2. The picture of Shiva from your trip to India is incredibly perfect! And the magnet! I love the Celtic bookmarks and that you sent items from multiple mythologies. I‘m going to frame the card!!!! And the Egyptian papyrus!!!! #mythsandlegendsswap

MeganAnn Love the different mythology artwork! 💙💙💙 9mo
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rwmg
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Birdsong28
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Thank @Oryx for the lovely present.😘 It's not long arrived (5.30 pm) 📚📖

Oryx You're welcome! Hope you having a good day ❤️ 9mo
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LoverofLit
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Pickpick

This short read was absolutely charming and took me less than a day to read. Other reviewers lamented the fact that this book was only 192 pages but I enjoyed the dark humor and storyline told from the wife of Odysseus as he sails away to the Trojan War and then goes galivanting around, sleeping with goddesses while she waits for him. Good for her for the choices she made and finally getting to tell her story! #ReadingWomenChallenge Myth Retelling

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rwmg
Pickpick

Atwood's Penelope is a very funny character. If your mother is a Naiad, your father tried to drown you as a baby, Helen of Troy is your cousin (so you're always going to come off second best in the boyfriend/husband stakes), and your husband disappears for 20 years, really a sense of humour is your only possible way of staying sane.

Full of things you want to read out to anyone who will sit still long enough 👇

rwmg but the danger is you might end up reading out the whole book. 9mo
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rwmg
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rwmg
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rwmg
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rwmg
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rwmg
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Expandingbookshelf
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“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can‘t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

Tamra Lovely! 10mo
Tamra Have you read the Watson translation yet? You know, because I hadn‘t read the Odyssey until last year, I hadn‘t paid any attention to this Atwood novel. Will definitely pick it up, so thank you for posting! 10mo
Expandingbookshelf @Tamra I did and I loved it! It‘s such an interesting translation 10mo
Tamra @Expandingbookshelf I will pick it up too then. 👍🏾 10mo
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ludodominici
Il canto di Penelope | Margaret Atwood
Mehso-so

Non il migliore della Atwood secondo me. Avevo già letto L‘altra Grace e il Racconto dell‘Ancella e questo libricino non regge purtroppo il confronto. La scrittrice ci ha abituate a donne molto sfaccettate, complesse, fragili e forti; in questo romanzo invece ci presenta una donna passivamente forte, schiacciata dagli uomini. Non mi è piaciuto affatto, nonostante io ami moto la figura di Odisseo e tutte le vicende legate a Iliade e Odissea

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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego
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I'm excited for the Myths & Legends Swap, and remembered I had this book! I really need to read The Odyssey.

#ReadTheNorth #CanadianAuthors #FemaleAuthors

Alanyaaass I had to read the odyssey for uni and ngl it was a wild ride 😂😂 it was fun though 11mo
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Astroneman
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Mehso-so

Un unusual voice, Penelope, tells us about Ulysses and Telemaco, about her real life and something about Helena...

#book #litsy #litsybook #bookly #goodreads #booklover #margaretatwood #thepenelopiad #Ulysses #toread #readingchallenge #readingchallenge2019 #Odissea #Omero

readordierachel That cover is beautiful! 11mo
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ViaggiatricePigra
Il canto di Penelope | Margaret Atwood
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MirrorMask
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“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you #plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

#QuotsyJan19 @TK-421

Reggie Nice!!! 13mo
TK-421 ❤️ 13mo
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alisonrose
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#sundaysurvey time!! Please repost with your answers and tag me! ☺️🎉

My answers:
1. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood — such a brilliant idea for a retelling!
2. I can deal with background noise, like conversations around me in a coffee shop or something, but not loud TV or music or the like
3. 🐒
4. It‘s great in some uses — pastries and such — but some things are just weird. But I don‘t dump on people for loving it. Like what you like!

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TheBookKeeper
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"Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does."
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Sculpture by Marie Paule Deville Chabrolle

#margaretatwood #thepenelopiad #reading #wisdom #greatbooks

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Divyaslesha
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Pickpick

A short, but powerful read, especially relevant in the time of the #metoo movement. Definitely among Margat Atwood‘s best.

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TheAnitaAlvarez
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Pickpick

Love love love retellings of myths (and fairy tales, and classics). This one, by my favorite author ever is fantastic. When I read The Odyssey in High School, I was very frustrated with how Penelope was always sidelined and we never got to hear her side. Atwood does a beautiful work of telling her story and portraying a different part of this narrative. I‘d love to get to the rest of the series.

Alfoster Yes! You need to read Little Darlings when it comes out (I got an ARC from NetGalley) as it‘s a dark, creepy retelling of some tales about changelings!😳😳😍😍😍 1y
Bertha_Mason I love that cover. You can't go wrong with Tamara de Lempicka. 1y
TheAnitaAlvarez @Alfoster I‘ll look it up! 1y
TheAnitaAlvarez @Bertha_Mason it‘s so pretty 😊 1y
NeedsMoreBooks This is one one of my favorites 😊 1y
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Wan.der.love
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Pickpick

“Cleverness is a quality a man likes to have in his wife as long as she is some distance away from him.”

Quick, unique, attention keeping read. Story alternates between Penelope‘s POV and the 12 maids represented using a mixture of different writing styles (poetry, interviews, even court case transcripts.) True Atwood fashion: exposing sexism and manipulation of women. If you enjoyed Circe/the Odyssey this is a great addition to that theme!

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Wan.der.love
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Thinking “The Penelopiad” will be an interesting read after “Circe.” Time to see things from Penelope‘s side. Fully expecting Margaret Atwood‘s signature mental and physical oppression of the female.

Photo is my own 💙 #worldwaterweek

KathyWheeler Love the picture and reading The Penelopiad after Circe is a great idea. I‘ll have to check it out. 1y
Billypar Wow.... Beautiful! And that is one Atwood I have yet to try- love the quote. 1y
Wan.der.love @KathyWheeler thank you!! will be interesting to see Atwood‘s take on Odysseus... 1y
Wan.der.love @Billypar thank you!! I‘m looking forward to this read myself 1y
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Skyrimir
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#gameoffavorites @ErinSueG @WhiskeyMistress favorite female author. Margaret Atwood, I love her ideas. I would love to have coffee with her.

ErinSueMreads Look up the trailer for her master class on writing. She looks like an absolute delight 1y
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beaconhillbooks
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Pickpick

Interesting perspective from Penelope regarding Odysseus‘ story told from the Underworld. With chorus lines from the 12 Hung Maids...

Slim little thing that‘ll stick with ya even if I rated it 3 stars.

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Sophoclessweetheart
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{#bookmail — Best Mail} 👊🖤

I treat myself to these beauties because I was feeling down and sometimes only retail therapy will do. I love retellings of Greek myths so I‘m really excited about the whole Canon Myths series and started my collection with the Penelopiad. I also got a new copy of Apollodorus‘ Library to replace the last.

What was the last book you brought? #greekmythology #retelling #bibliophile #booklover #bookaddict #bookblogger

BooknerdsLife Great editions you've got there! 😍 I totally agree new books are the best to cheer us up! & Hope you feel better soon🤗💖 2y
Sophoclessweetheart @BooknerdsLife Thank you Eliza. I love them! I‘m feeling much brighter now but I wasn‘t when I ordered these at the weekend 😹😹 2y
BooknerdsLife @Sorceryandswords aww you're welcome Kendal😘😘 so glad you are feeling much brighter now. New books are the best! 😄💖 2y
2BR02B I've been wanting to read The Penelopiad! I'll look forward to your review. 😄 2y
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kathedron
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Panpan

Ugh! A retelling from Penelope's POV of events on Ithaca during Odysseus' 20 year absence and upon his return could have been great but what, really, does Atwood add? Some commentary on the maids' lack of sexual autonomy (because of patriarchy). A Penelope who devotes a lot of time and energy to weeping and to slut-shaming Helen (because women are bitches to each other, because of patriarchy). Is anyone not depressingly reduced in this telling?

eraderneely I actually liked this a lot better than I expected to, but I read it as really snarky so I was laughing the whole time. My book club was SUPER mixed on this one. 2y
ephemeralwaltz 😱 Taking this off my TBR for the time being 2y
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Sha0102
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Pickpick

Unique narrative. Penelope's point of view of Odissey (her participation). Quite worthy for those who enjoys Greek literature. #ThePenolopiad #MargaretAtwood #book #bookaholic #booklovers #ler #leitura #leitora #reading #instabook #instaread #instabooks #bookstagram #litsy #booklover #readingabook #vero #Sha2018 #taglivros

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MirrorMask
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BookishMe
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Pickpick

Finally completed my first #Greece read for #readaroundtheworld
#LitWorld2018GB
#LitsyPassport

Atwood entertains, taunts and provokes with this mystical retelling of Odysseus, through Penelope's point of view. Almost tempted to check out original epic 😅😅

Can't wait to continue the Greek trip with the other books while deciding titles for Ethiopia ;D

Crazeedi I love your idea 💡 of reading around the world 🌎! I might have to do this! 2y
BookishMe @Crazeedi Both hashtags / reading plans are ongoing... Join us! I will tag you in the relevant posts ;D 2y
Crazeedi @bookishme thank you! 2y
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melissa_corbett
Pickpick

One of my favourite books I‘ve ever read! Homer‘s Odyssey in a whole new, and feminist, light.

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Linds
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Pickpick

A fascinating re-telling of the story of Penelope and Odysseus from Greek myth, namely The Odyssey. Weird, feminist, and much funnier than I expected.

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alisonrose
Pickpick

Totally fucking loved this. Greek mythology retold with the loser dude to the side and the lady at the front, a lot of LOL lines, clever writing and a unique style that worked perfectly for what she was doing. This was truly fun to read, and I'm so glad I finally did. I want her to give all the myths this same treatment! 5/5 ⭐️

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alisonrose

I repressed a desire to say that Helen should have been kept in a locked trunk in a dark cellar because she was poison on legs.

[Poison on Legs = Riot Grrrl band name]

Owlizabeth [10/10 would listen to that band] 2y
alisonrose @Owlizabeth \m/ >.< \m/ 2y
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alisonrose

And so I was handed over to Odysseus, like a package of meat. A package of meat in a wrapping of gold, mind you. A sort of gilded blood pudding.

Lindy Atwood can be hilarious. 😆 2y
alisonrose @Lindy She really can!! 2y
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alisonrose
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I want a giant print of this cover art to hang on my wall. #nowreading

BookishTrish Wow! 2y
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mcorneli
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Pickpick

Changed perspective makes all the difference. I‘ve felt sorry for Penelope ever since I read a kids version of Odysseus‘ homecoming as a child. She seemed like a statue—all goodness and no definition. Atwood‘s retelling gives Penelope all the complex contours of a developed character. Book two of the #ReadingWomenChallenge

6 likes1 comment