Imagine that you have gone back in time 3,000 years to the city of Ithaka to greet Odysseus, the sole survivor of a decade of adventures, shipwreck, and mayhem, on his long-awaited return home. Recognized only by his loyal dog, he is really a stranger to his son, Telemachos, and even to Penelope, the wife who, flicking off suitors like flies, has managed to keep his household intact. Imagine his shock when she informs him she has another surprise in store; when he left for Troy some twenty years before, he fathered twin daughters. These daughters, now mature and preternaturally gifted, are determined to travel with their mother to the Pythian oracle, there to learn what the gods have decreed as their fates and do the goddess’ bidding.
Imagine, in other words, the next episodes of The Odyssey told in the voice of a woman, in this case a woman who has faithfully waited for her husband to return, who has diligently performed all her duties as wife and mother, and who now desparately wants to experience the same adventure and freedom as her heroic spouse.
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