The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson - review by A C Grayling

A C Grayling

A C Grayling welcomes a new series on Myths

The Penelopiad

By

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This autumn, with much fanfare, a consortium of thirty-four publishers around the world has launched a series of short books each retelling a myth. The opening salvo, published by Canongate, consists of Margaret Atwood recounting Penelope’s story as she awaits the homecoming of Odysseus, Jeanette Winterson telling of Atlas, Hercules, and the Apples of the Hesperides, and Karen Armstrong providing a general introduction to the series.

The next two volumes in the series, not yet published, show that the retellings will stray beyond Greek mythology; one of them centres on Samson, and the publicity blurb for the series says that its participating authors have been invited to choose any myth they like. Given that the authors

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