The series that began in October with Karen Armstrong's compelling A Short History of Myth continues, with electrifying new works of fiction from two of the world's most loved writers. Booker Award-winner Margaret Atwood, who has reworked the traditional telling of the Odyssey narrative, says- 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.
Margaret Atwood's books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She is the author of more than thirty works, which include fiction, poetry and critical essays. Oryx and Crake is her eleventh novel, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2003, as was The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's, and Alias Grace. Her novel, The Blind Assassin won the 2000 Booker Prize. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.