By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
October 26, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

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Canongate’s brilliant new Myth Series invites prominent authors to rewrite classic tales as modern novellas. Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry) turns her more serious, piercing gaze on the woes of Atlas and Heracles, in Weight, offering dreamlike vignettes about the giants literally forced to carry the world on their shoulders. In a foreword, Winterson says she was drawn to a myth about ”loneliness, isolation, responsibility, burden, and freedom too.” While the story isn’t new, Winterson’s approach reminds us that there are endlessly original ways to tell it.

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