Retelling timeless tales

Did you know that there is a series of amazing books which are rpenelopiad-book-cveretellings of mythical tales, each by a famous author?  I didn’t either!  But I came across the “Myth Series” while looking for something else, and was blown away.   The story of Penelope by Margaret Atwood?  The story of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson?  COOL!  The authors are international in scope, and were given the charge to tell the story any way they wanted to.  The publisher, Canongate Books, calls it “the most ambitious simultaneous worldwide publication ever undertaken,” but I just call it a really great idea with riveting (and well-reviewed) results. Here are just a few of the titles:

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood: This is the imagined Continue reading “Retelling timeless tales”

Parallel stories

When Possession (A.S. Byatt) came out in 1990, readers of literary fiction swarmed libraries and bookstores to get copies of this story-within-a-story relating the modern day characters to famous people in the past. In Byatt’s tale, a scholar finds an old letter written by Randolph Ash, which leads him into delicious research that in turn reveals connections between that past and his present. Later Martha Cooley invented an even more intricately plotted story, The Archivist, in which a librarian at an Ivy League university guards the letters of T.S. Eliot to his lover, Emily Hale, from the eyes of the world – at least until 2020 when the letters’ owner will allow academic access to the collection. The archivist, Matthias Lane, did not anticipate the tenacity of Roberta Spire, however, and eventually the treasure trove is plundered. As a result, the relationship between Hale and Eliot comes to light, while simultaneously Lane’s past is revealed as he works through a new relationship with the much younger Roberta. The lives of those in the present mirror those under scrutiny. A trend toward this parallel story line novel yields a Continue reading “Parallel stories”