Ithaca Forever: Penelope Speaks, a Novel

Luigi Malerba (Author) Douglas Grant Heise (Translator)
& 1 more
Pre-Order   Ships Feb 09, 2021


After twenty years, Odysseus finally returns to Ithaca, but instead of receiving the homecoming he had hoped for finds himself caught in an intense battle of wills with his faithful and long-suffering wife Penelope. When Penelope recognizes him under the guise of a beggar, she becomes furious with him for not trusting her enough to include her in his plans for ridding the palace of the Suitors. As a result, she plays her own game of fictions to make him suffer for this lack of faith, inspiring jealousy, self-doubt, and misgivings in her husband, the legendary Homeric hero.

In this captivating retelling of the Odyssey, Penelope rises as a major force with whom to be reckoned. Shifting between first-person reflections, Ithaca Forever reveals the deeply personal and powerful perspectives of both wife and husband as they struggle for respect and supremacy within a marriage that has been on hold for twenty years. Translated by PEN award-winner Douglas Grant Heise, Luigi Malerba's novel gives us a remarkable version of this greatest work of western literature: Odysseus as a man full of doubts and Penelope as a woman of great depth and strength.

Product Details

$19.95  $18.35
University of California Press
Publish Date
February 09, 2021

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About the Author

Luigi Malerba is the pen name of Luigi Bonardi (1927-2008). He was born in Berceto, outside of Parma in Emilia Romagna, in 1927. Because of his young age, Malerba avoided serving in the Fascist military during World War II. Instead, after completing secondary school, he went on to study law at the University of Parma, but he soon abandoned that path. His move to Rome in 1950 brought him into artistic, literary and cinematic circles that would significantly influence his work. After going into advertising and then scriptwriting for films, he began writing fiction in the 1960s. Malerba went on to become a member of Gruppo '63 and co-founder of the Cooperativa Scrittori (Writers' Cooperative). He was also involved in literary journals and consistently contributed to newspapers. Malerba was the author of over thirty novels, short-story collections, criticism and travel books, over a dozen children's books, and more than ten screenplays. His work earned the attention of the best critics in Italy and won many prizes: the Mondello in 1987, the Grinzane Cavour Prize in 1989, the Flaiano Prize in 1990, the Viareggio in 1992, the Premio Brancati in 1979, the Premio Feronia in 1992. For "Salto mortale," in 1970, he was awarded the first Medici Prix Etranger given by France to a non-French writer.
Emily Hauser studied Classics at Cambridge, where she was taught by Mary Beard. She then went to Harvard as a Fulbright Scholar and now teaches at Yale, where she is completing her PhD in Classics. She has won several prizes for her academic work, including the University of Cambridge Chancellor's Medal and the Alice Derby Lang Essay Prize at Yale. For the Most Beautiful--the first book in the Golden Apple trilogy--is her debut novel. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.