Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal

Myra Breckinridge is a 1968 satirical novel by Gore Vidal written in the form of a diary. Described by the critic Dennis Altman as "part of a major cultural assault on the assumed norms of gender and sexuality which swept the western world in the late 1960s and early 1970s," the book's major themes are feminism, transsexuality, American expressions of machismo and patriarchy, and deviant sexual practices, as filtered through an aggressively camp sensibility. The controversial book is also "the first instance of a novel in which the main character undergoes a clinical sex-change." Set in Hollywood in the 1960s, the novel also contains candid and irreverent glimpses into the machinations within the film industry. Myra Breckinridge was dismissed by some of the era's more conservative critics as pornographic at the time of its first publication in February 1968; nevertheless, the novel immediately became a worldwide bestseller and has since come to be considered a classic in some circles. "It is tempting to argue that Vidal said more to subvert the dominant rules of sex and gender in Myra than is contained in a shelf of queer theory treatises," wrote Dennis Altman. Critic Harold Bloom cites the novel as a canonical work in his book The Western Canon. Vidal called Myra his favorite of his books, and published a sequel, Myron, in 1974. The novel was adapted into a 1970 film of the same name, which was universally panned. Vidal disowned the film, calling it "an awful joke".In his 1995 memoir Palimpsest, Vidal said the voice of Myra may have been inspired by the "megalomania" of Anaïs Nin's diaries.

The 1168th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (The Book)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
Myra Breckinridge and Myron Hardcover 2911990 $90.00 $20.95 1986
By Gore Vidal - Myra Breckinridge (1905-06-07) [Paperback] Paperback 5097617 $160.68 $1.99 1905
Myra Breckinridge (Vintage International) Kindle Edition 187708 2019
Myra Breckinridge: A Novel (Myra and Myron) Audio CD 2773619 $12.81 $16.93 2019
Myra Breckinridge Paperback 6835211 $32.89
Myra Breckinridge: A Novel (Myra and Myron) Audio CD 7947350 $8.56 $12.01 2019
Myra Breckinridge et Myron Mass Market Paperback 10768221 $17.98 2002
Myra Breckinridge Paperback 659669 $11.63 $2.20
Myra Breckinridge/Myron (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) Paperback 1259804 $67.90 $4.72 1997
Myra Breckinridge (Vintage International) Paperback 749046 $11.25 $10.71 2019