Eponymous Myra Breckrenridge is as repellent a character as you’d ever not want to meet.
And she’s absolutely fascinating.
Gore Vidal presents Myra’s story as her confidences in her diary, written as therapy on the urging of her dentist and analyst, Randolph.
Myra is in Hollywood to attempt to get money she believes owed to her by Buck Loner, her late husband Myron’s uncle. Buck had built a flourishing acting school on land willed jointly to him and his late sister, Myron’s mother.
Buck says he’ll get his lawyer on it; meanwhile, he invites Myra to join his faculty to teach courses in Empathy and Posture.
Myra and Buck set out to swindle each other without dropping the pose of family bonding.
For 20 of her 27 years, Myra in imagination cast herself as a the female lead in films she saw while growing up. But Myra doesn’t want the subservient roles: Myra hates men, and she’s determined to dominate them.
Despite his heavy hand with satire, Vidal makes the transgender Myra believable and human.
I didn’t like Myra the person or Myra the novel, but I felt I did something necessary and respectful just by exposing myself to Myra’s perspective.
Myra Breckenridge by Gore Vidal
Little, Brown,  264 p.
1968 bestseller #7. My grade: A-.
©2017 Linda Gorton Aragoni