NPR MUSIC:
The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+

NPR MUSIC: The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+

BY LARA PELLIGRINELLI

159. Sarah Kirkland Snider, Penelope: "The Lotus Eaters" (2010)
"A woman's husband appears at her door after an absence of 20 years, suffering from brain damage..." That's the premise behind Sarah Kirkland Snider's Penelope with lyrics by playwright Ellen McLaughlin and sung by Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond). The gorgeous, haunting song cycle updates Homer's Odyssey from the perspective of its female characters. Snider has been taken to task for writing music that is too vulnerable and too expressive. In "The Lotus Eaters," she answers her critics powerfully with restless music that overflows from an intoxicating desire to forget.

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