B&N Reads, Mythology Retellings

The Best Mythology Retellings to Read Right Now

Mythological retellings are all the rage. Mostly thanks to TikTok, but also to some brilliant reimagining of epic tales that for too long have been told from a very singular viewpoint. These fresh takes on the classics offer a bit of redemption. Helen, Circe, Penelope, Briseis, Ariadne and Lavinia — names you’ve heard, but voices that were silenced. These are the stories we want to hear! Those that breathe new life (and often humor) into tired tales. Whether you’re looking for a recommendation or just want to make sure you haven’t missed anything, here are our picks for the best mythological retellings to read right now.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

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Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Sue Lynn Tan

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This captivating fantasy seamlessly weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic. Inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e, this debut is the first in a romantic duology. With its lush world-building, strong female protagonist, and vivid characters, this tale of love, sacrifice, and honor is already topping all the fantasy must-read lists.

This captivating fantasy seamlessly weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic. Inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e, this debut is the first in a romantic duology. With its lush world-building, strong female protagonist, and vivid characters, this tale of love, sacrifice, and honor is already topping all the fantasy must-read lists.

Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths

Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths

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Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths

Natalie Haynes

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From the author of A Thousand Ships comes a sharp and witty correction on the popularly known Greek myths. Centering the women often villainized or pushed to the side, this book flips the narrative on its head, giving the women the same weight as the men in classic Greek myths. Natalie Haynes has written a brilliant book making readers question why they were so quick to villainize the women in the first place and automatically believe the stories they were told.

From the author of A Thousand Ships comes a sharp and witty correction on the popularly known Greek myths. Centering the women often villainized or pushed to the side, this book flips the narrative on its head, giving the women the same weight as the men in classic Greek myths. Natalie Haynes has written a brilliant book making readers question why they were so quick to villainize the women in the first place and automatically believe the stories they were told.

A Magic Steeped in Poison (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

A Magic Steeped in Poison (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

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A Magic Steeped in Poison (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

Judy I. Lin

Hardcover $14.99 $18.99

Judy I. Lin has exquisitely combined two of our favorite things — tea and magic — to craft her debut novel, A Magic Steeped in Poison. Following her mother’s death, Ning journeys to the capital to compete in a tournament to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi, or master of the magical art of tea-making. But competition breeds danger, and Ning is soon embroiled in a feud far more perilous than she could ever imagine.

Judy I. Lin has exquisitely combined two of our favorite things — tea and magic — to craft her debut novel, A Magic Steeped in Poison. Following her mother’s death, Ning journeys to the capital to compete in a tournament to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi, or master of the magical art of tea-making. But competition breeds danger, and Ning is soon embroiled in a feud far more perilous than she could ever imagine.

The Hunger of the Gods

The Hunger of the Gods

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The Hunger of the Gods

John Gwynne

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Full of nods to Norse mythology, The Hunger of the Gods is utterly unputdownable. The second book in The Bloodsworn Trilogy, this epic fantasy is packed full of magic and vengeance as a dragon god, Lik-Rifa, has been set free from its prison and the only hope is a wolf god, Ulfrir, being raised from the dead by the power of a book of forbidden magic.

Full of nods to Norse mythology, The Hunger of the Gods is utterly unputdownable. The second book in The Bloodsworn Trilogy, this epic fantasy is packed full of magic and vengeance as a dragon god, Lik-Rifa, has been set free from its prison and the only hope is a wolf god, Ulfrir, being raised from the dead by the power of a book of forbidden magic.

Kaikeyi: A Novel

Kaikeyi: A Novel

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Kaikeyi: A Novel

Vaishnavi Patel

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This debut is perfect for fans of Circe! It’s a reimagining of the infamous queen in the Indian epic, the Ramayana, and it follows Kaikeyi, a woman raised on the stories of the gods. When she finds that she has some magic of her own, she does her best to toe the line between duty and rebellion, doing what’s best for the women in her kingdom and what’s expected of her.

This debut is perfect for fans of Circe! It’s a reimagining of the infamous queen in the Indian epic, the Ramayana, and it follows Kaikeyi, a woman raised on the stories of the gods. When she finds that she has some magic of her own, she does her best to toe the line between duty and rebellion, doing what’s best for the women in her kingdom and what’s expected of her.

Elektra

Elektra

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Elektra

Jennifer Saint

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Electric and enthralling, Elektra follows three women entangled in a curse, each of them fighting for their own destinies despite being relegated to the wings. Clytemnestra is betrayed by her husband, Princess Cassandra can see prophesies yet no one will believe her, and Elektra longs for her father to return from war. All are connected, and yet all three women have different hopes and desires to defy the curse that binds them all, releasing them to their own destinies.

Electric and enthralling, Elektra follows three women entangled in a curse, each of them fighting for their own destinies despite being relegated to the wings. Clytemnestra is betrayed by her husband, Princess Cassandra can see prophesies yet no one will believe her, and Elektra longs for her father to return from war. All are connected, and yet all three women have different hopes and desires to defy the curse that binds them all, releasing them to their own destinies.

When We Were Birds: A Novel

When We Were Birds: A Novel

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When We Were Birds: A Novel

Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

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A mythic love story set in Trinidad, this radiant debut introduced two unforgettable outsiders brought together by their connection with the dead.  Yejide and Darwin will meet in an ancient and sprawling cemetery, where the dead lie uneasy in their graves, and a reckoning with fate beckons them both.  A masterwork of lush imagination and exuberant storytelling, this is a spellbinding and hopeful novel about inheritance, loss and love’s seismic power to heal.

A mythic love story set in Trinidad, this radiant debut introduced two unforgettable outsiders brought together by their connection with the dead.  Yejide and Darwin will meet in an ancient and sprawling cemetery, where the dead lie uneasy in their graves, and a reckoning with fate beckons them both.  A masterwork of lush imagination and exuberant storytelling, this is a spellbinding and hopeful novel about inheritance, loss and love’s seismic power to heal.

Skin of the Sea (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

Skin of the Sea (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

Hardcover $9.49 $18.99

Skin of the Sea (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition)

Natasha Bowen

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Complete with atmospheric world-building and enchanting prose, Skin of the Sea is an utterly unique blend of fantasy, history and West African mythology that will pull readers in from the very first page. Once a human, Simidele now swims the ocean as a Mami Wata — a mermaid — collecting the souls of those who have passed at sea. When she defies the gods by saving the life of a drowning boy, the two embark on a dangerous journey full of the unknown. This stunning debut is a must-read for fans of Children of Blood and Bone.

Complete with atmospheric world-building and enchanting prose, Skin of the Sea is an utterly unique blend of fantasy, history and West African mythology that will pull readers in from the very first page. Once a human, Simidele now swims the ocean as a Mami Wata — a mermaid — collecting the souls of those who have passed at sea. When she defies the gods by saving the life of a drowning boy, the two embark on a dangerous journey full of the unknown. This stunning debut is a must-read for fans of Children of Blood and Bone.

Lore Olympus: Volume One (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Lore Olympus: Volume One (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Hardcover $21.49 $26.99

Lore Olympus: Volume One (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Rachel Smythe

Hardcover $21.49 $26.99

Scandal, gossip, forbidden love — just another day in Olympus! The webtoon sensation is finally in print, and it is a stunning celebration of one of the first love stories ever told. With her trademark wit and exquisite art, Smythe tackles the complicated relationship and origin story between Hades, god of the Underworld, and his beloved Persephone. We cannot wait for book two!

Scandal, gossip, forbidden love — just another day in Olympus! The webtoon sensation is finally in print, and it is a stunning celebration of one of the first love stories ever told. With her trademark wit and exquisite art, Smythe tackles the complicated relationship and origin story between Hades, god of the Underworld, and his beloved Persephone. We cannot wait for book two!

Sistersong

Sistersong

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Sistersong

Lucy Holland

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A stunning, lyrical debut with an unforgettable trio of siblings, Sistersong is a tragic tale of the founding of a nation and the ultimate unraveling of a family relationship. A loose retelling filled to the brim with heartbreak and betrayal, this modern ballad is sure to become an immediate favorite for lovers of Song of Achilles and Ariadne. “From its opening pages, Sistersong transports you to a time period often overlooked, and spins a tale of family, loyalty, and the triumph of becoming the person you were always meant to be. I was utterly captivated from the beginning to the tragic, bittersweet end.”—Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch’s Heart.

A stunning, lyrical debut with an unforgettable trio of siblings, Sistersong is a tragic tale of the founding of a nation and the ultimate unraveling of a family relationship. A loose retelling filled to the brim with heartbreak and betrayal, this modern ballad is sure to become an immediate favorite for lovers of Song of Achilles and Ariadne. “From its opening pages, Sistersong transports you to a time period often overlooked, and spins a tale of family, loyalty, and the triumph of becoming the person you were always meant to be. I was utterly captivated from the beginning to the tragic, bittersweet end.”—Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch’s Heart.

Greek Myths: A New Retelling

Greek Myths: A New Retelling

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Greek Myths: A New Retelling

Charlotte Higgins , Chris Ofili

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“Greek myths remain true for us because they excavate the very extremes of human experience: sudden, inexplicable catastrophe; radical reversals of fortune; and seemingly arbitrary events that transform lives. They deal, in short, in the hard, basic facts of the human condition.” Greek Myths is not your traditional mythology retelling. Athena, Helen, Circe and Penelope are at the forefront of this imaginative and contemporary new work. Much like a grand tapestry, their stories are woven together with stunning black-and-white illustrations by Chris Ofili. Fans of Circe by Madeline Miller and Mythos by Stephen Fry will love this luminous collection.

“Greek myths remain true for us because they excavate the very extremes of human experience: sudden, inexplicable catastrophe; radical reversals of fortune; and seemingly arbitrary events that transform lives. They deal, in short, in the hard, basic facts of the human condition.” Greek Myths is not your traditional mythology retelling. Athena, Helen, Circe and Penelope are at the forefront of this imaginative and contemporary new work. Much like a grand tapestry, their stories are woven together with stunning black-and-white illustrations by Chris Ofili. Fans of Circe by Madeline Miller and Mythos by Stephen Fry will love this luminous collection.

Iron Widow

Iron Widow

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Iron Widow

Xiran Jay Zhao

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A feminist sci-fi story inspired by Chinese history? Sign us up. Iron Widow is a richly imagined, nonstop alien adventure that is truly unlike anything we’ve ever read. A vibrant and unrelenting trio of main characters make this story a true standout, along with a shocking ending that will leave readers clamoring for the sequel. ”A searing, cinematic, gut-punch of a tale, Iron Widow is both wickedly fun and brutally incisive when it comes to the Chinese history and culture it draws inspiration from. There’s no resisting Wu Zetian; once she sinks her claws in you, you’ll be racing alongside her to a shocking, subversive end.“ Joan He, author ofThe Ones We’re Meant to Find

A feminist sci-fi story inspired by Chinese history? Sign us up. Iron Widow is a richly imagined, nonstop alien adventure that is truly unlike anything we’ve ever read. A vibrant and unrelenting trio of main characters make this story a true standout, along with a shocking ending that will leave readers clamoring for the sequel. ”A searing, cinematic, gut-punch of a tale, Iron Widow is both wickedly fun and brutally incisive when it comes to the Chinese history and culture it draws inspiration from. There’s no resisting Wu Zetian; once she sinks her claws in you, you’ll be racing alongside her to a shocking, subversive end.“ Joan He, author ofThe Ones We’re Meant to Find

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

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A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Roseanne A. Brown

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Malik is a poor refugee; Karina is a rich princess. Though their lives seem worlds apart, when each of their families is affected by dark magic, both Malik and Karina will do whatever it takes to get them back — even if it means killing each other. Infused with West African folklore and lush world-building, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is an epic debut with an ending that will leave you spellbound.

Malik is a poor refugee; Karina is a rich princess. Though their lives seem worlds apart, when each of their families is affected by dark magic, both Malik and Karina will do whatever it takes to get them back — even if it means killing each other. Infused with West African folklore and lush world-building, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is an epic debut with an ending that will leave you spellbound.

Circe

Circe

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Circe

Madeline Miller

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A journey to self-discovery of epic proportions, Circe is a retelling from the queen of mythology herself: Madeline Miller. A lyrical, action-packed dive into the origin of an unforgettable and unparalleled woman, Circe cements herself in the pantheon of stories that must not be missed. Circe shares her scars, her broken parts, and in doing so, speaks to the humanity we all share: “That is one thing gods and mortals share: when we are young, we think ourselves the first to have each feeling in the world.”

A journey to self-discovery of epic proportions, Circe is a retelling from the queen of mythology herself: Madeline Miller. A lyrical, action-packed dive into the origin of an unforgettable and unparalleled woman, Circe cements herself in the pantheon of stories that must not be missed. Circe shares her scars, her broken parts, and in doing so, speaks to the humanity we all share: “That is one thing gods and mortals share: when we are young, we think ourselves the first to have each feeling in the world.”

Ariadne: A Novel

Ariadne: A Novel

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Ariadne: A Novel

Jennifer Saint

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Ariadne is another exciting new addition to the genre of mythological retellings. Based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur and told from the perspective of two sisters, Ariadne and Phaedra, this is a masterful debut about love, betrayal, and sisterhood. “Saint breathes new life into the forgotten women of Greek mythology with a novel that’s both incredibly absorbing, and full of heart.” —Katie Lowe, author of The Furies

Ariadne is another exciting new addition to the genre of mythological retellings. Based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur and told from the perspective of two sisters, Ariadne and Phaedra, this is a masterful debut about love, betrayal, and sisterhood. “Saint breathes new life into the forgotten women of Greek mythology with a novel that’s both incredibly absorbing, and full of heart.” —Katie Lowe, author of The Furies

A Thousand Ships

A Thousand Ships

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A Thousand Ships

Natalie Haynes

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In A Thousand Ships, Calliope, goddess of poetry, takes us through the Trojan War — where women become the deserving center of the most epic story ever told. A fresh entry into a burgeoning category of modern retellings, this story collection is a beautiful doorway to the inimitable ancient works. “Natalie Haynes gives a much-needed voice to the silenced women of the Trojan War.”—Madeline Miller, author of Circe

In A Thousand Ships, Calliope, goddess of poetry, takes us through the Trojan War — where women become the deserving center of the most epic story ever told. A fresh entry into a burgeoning category of modern retellings, this story collection is a beautiful doorway to the inimitable ancient works. “Natalie Haynes gives a much-needed voice to the silenced women of the Trojan War.”—Madeline Miller, author of Circe

Lore

Lore

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Lore

Alexandra Bracken

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After Lore Perseous’s family is brutally murdered, she does everything she can to protect herself from the same fate, even if it means hiding in plain sight in New York City. However, she is soon tracked down by two participants of the Agon — a traditional hunt of the Greek gods that occurs every seven years — who both desperately need her help. Will Lore decide to rejoin the Agon and avenge her family’s death with so much at risk? Fraught with epic world-building and high-stakes action, Lore is a rich tale of Greek mythology meets The Hunger Games.

After Lore Perseous’s family is brutally murdered, she does everything she can to protect herself from the same fate, even if it means hiding in plain sight in New York City. However, she is soon tracked down by two participants of the Agon — a traditional hunt of the Greek gods that occurs every seven years — who both desperately need her help. Will Lore decide to rejoin the Agon and avenge her family’s death with so much at risk? Fraught with epic world-building and high-stakes action, Lore is a rich tale of Greek mythology meets The Hunger Games.

The Witch's Heart

The Witch's Heart

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The Witch's Heart

Genevieve Gornichec

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What Madeline Miller did for Circe, Genevieve Gornichec now does for the mother of monsters, Angrboda. In this reimagined Norse myth, Gornichec takes up the mantle with a beautifully wrought feminist retelling of the prophetic witch. Her journey is a heartbreaking, epic and beautiful tribute to the power of love and hope. Both a love story and a war epic, The Witch’s Heart gives a ringing voice to the oft-silent women of myth and legend.

What Madeline Miller did for Circe, Genevieve Gornichec now does for the mother of monsters, Angrboda. In this reimagined Norse myth, Gornichec takes up the mantle with a beautifully wrought feminist retelling of the prophetic witch. Her journey is a heartbreaking, epic and beautiful tribute to the power of love and hope. Both a love story and a war epic, The Witch’s Heart gives a ringing voice to the oft-silent women of myth and legend.

Daughter of Sparta

Daughter of Sparta

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Daughter of Sparta

Claire Andrews

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This enthralling reinterpretation of the classic Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo is a page-turning adventure from start to finish. With her brother’s fate in the hands of goddess Artemis, 17-year-old Daphne embarks on a journey with Artemis’ twin, Apollo, to save both Olympus and her brother. Lush world-building and a gripping plot give Daughter of Sparta a cinematic quality that begs to be adapted to the screen.

This enthralling reinterpretation of the classic Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo is a page-turning adventure from start to finish. With her brother’s fate in the hands of goddess Artemis, 17-year-old Daphne embarks on a journey with Artemis’ twin, Apollo, to save both Olympus and her brother. Lush world-building and a gripping plot give Daughter of Sparta a cinematic quality that begs to be adapted to the screen.

Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined

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Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Stephen Fry

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Stephen Fry brings his legendary wit to the world of Greek mythology with Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined. Here are the gods and heroes like you’ve never seen them before: brimming with humor, wonder and humanity. Readers of the classics and newcomers alike will be delighted by Fry’s warm-hearted and rich retellings of the Clash of the Titans, Cupid and Psyche, Persephone, the Olympians, and so much more.

Stephen Fry brings his legendary wit to the world of Greek mythology with Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined. Here are the gods and heroes like you’ve never seen them before: brimming with humor, wonder and humanity. Readers of the classics and newcomers alike will be delighted by Fry’s warm-hearted and rich retellings of the Clash of the Titans, Cupid and Psyche, Persephone, the Olympians, and so much more.

Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined

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Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Stephen Fry

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The second in Fry’s Mythos trilogy, this fun, and eye-popping book turns its attention to the deeds of the mortal heroes. Perseus, Heracles, Bellerophon, Orpheus, Jason, Atalanta, Oedipus and Theseus. They’re all here! All the thrills, scandalous love affairs, prophecies and triumphs told with an extra dose of Fry-esque humor. It’s perfect for mythology buffs as well as those looking for a fresh take on the classics.

The second in Fry’s Mythos trilogy, this fun, and eye-popping book turns its attention to the deeds of the mortal heroes. Perseus, Heracles, Bellerophon, Orpheus, Jason, Atalanta, Oedipus and Theseus. They’re all here! All the thrills, scandalous love affairs, prophecies and triumphs told with an extra dose of Fry-esque humor. It’s perfect for mythology buffs as well as those looking for a fresh take on the classics.

Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined

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Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Stephen Fry

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The brilliant conclusion to Stephen Fry’s bestselling Mythos trilogy. And if you’ve read the first two, you know you’re in for a treat — who wouldn’t want to read Fry’s reimagining of the oldest and greatest story ever told? This story has everything: a beautiful queen kidnapped, gods and heroes seeking vengeance, love and loss, a raging war’s epic battles … all told with Fry’s trademark wit and vibrance. It’s sure to launch a thousand ships.

The brilliant conclusion to Stephen Fry’s bestselling Mythos trilogy. And if you’ve read the first two, you know you’re in for a treat — who wouldn’t want to read Fry’s reimagining of the oldest and greatest story ever told? This story has everything: a beautiful queen kidnapped, gods and heroes seeking vengeance, love and loss, a raging war’s epic battles … all told with Fry’s trademark wit and vibrance. It’s sure to launch a thousand ships.

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

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The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

Margaret Atwood

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Told from the viewpoint of Penelope, Margaret Atwood delivers an insightful retelling of the Odyssey. In this modern twist, Atwood chooses to center her story around Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids, asking two important questions: “What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?”

Told from the viewpoint of Penelope, Margaret Atwood delivers an insightful retelling of the Odyssey. In this modern twist, Atwood chooses to center her story around Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids, asking two important questions: “What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?”

Lavinia

Lavinia

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Lavinia

Ursula K. Le Guin

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As one of science fiction’s most critically acclaimed authors, Ursula K. Le Guin brings her heart and meticulous detail to Virgil’s The Aeneid. Le Guin was largely influenced by mythology, so it seems only natural she would turn her sights on giving a voice to Lavinia — the daughter of King Latinus and destined wife of Trojan hero Aeneas, that speaks not a single word in The Aeneid. Le Guin tells the story that Virgil did not, one of a sublime heroine.

As one of science fiction’s most critically acclaimed authors, Ursula K. Le Guin brings her heart and meticulous detail to Virgil’s The Aeneid. Le Guin was largely influenced by mythology, so it seems only natural she would turn her sights on giving a voice to Lavinia — the daughter of King Latinus and destined wife of Trojan hero Aeneas, that speaks not a single word in The Aeneid. Le Guin tells the story that Virgil did not, one of a sublime heroine.