Interview to Claire North: Ithaca

Author: Profa. Dra. Arantxa Serantes (*)

It is time to rewrite history and put a contemporary face on it. The figure of Penelope in Homer’s Odyssey has always been that of a woman who waits hopelessly without realizing that the sea is also hers and that the world does not end in Ithaca. However, duty calls her, or rather, tradition, and that is what creates a stereotype.

The synopsis of the book that has just been published in Spanish reads something like this, Ithaca (2023):

Seventeen years ago, King Ulysses sailed to war with Troy, taking with him all the men of fighting age from the island of Ithaca. None of them have returned, and it is the women of Ithaca who must run the kingdom.

Penelope was barely a grown woman when she married Odysseus. As long as he was alive, she was safe. But now, years later, speculation is mounting that her husband is dead and suitors begin knocking at her door.

No man is strong enough to claim Odysseus’ empty throne. Penelope knows that one false step can lead to a bloody civil war. Only through cunning, wit and her circle of trusted handmaidens can she maintain the fragile peace necessary for the kingdom to survive.

This is the story of Penelope of Ithaca, the famous wife of Odysseus, as it has never been told before. Above the island, the gods conduct the wars of men. But on Ithaca, it is the abandoned women and their goddesses who will change the fate of the world.

Claire North’s historical novel is realistic despite being fantastic, because the descriptions take us to the exact place, with precision, so that we are aware of the passage from myth to logos. Having the opportunity to interview her, in a humanistic key and having been able to meet her in person, as well as listen to her, has been a most enriching experience. I wanted to bring the interview to Neohumanismo in its original version, so that we do not miss a single detail of what the author wanted to tell us and that is why I have dedicated a special downloadable issue for all readers to enjoy. See you in the house of Odysseus and may the gods and the seas be propitious to us.

Download link


Itaca – Trini Vergara Ediciones – Somos lo que quieres leer. (2023). TriniVergara.

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