I am Myra Breckinridge whom no man will ever possess. Clad only in garter belt and one dress shield, I held off the entire elite of the Trobriand Islanders, a race who possess no words for "why" or "because." Wielding a stone axe, I broke the arms, the limbs, the balls of their finest warriors, my beauty blinding them, as it does all men, unmanning them in the way that King Kong was reduced to mere simian whimper by beauteous Fay Wray whom I resemble left three-quarter profile if the key light is no more than five feet high during the close shot.
The above is the opening to Myra Breckinridge, which instantly sucked me into the world of Gore Vidal. I was a teen bored with the literature at school, as well as the fluff young-adult horror I was reading in my spare time, when I somehow stumbled on his book. Vidal's words were a beacon of light. Sure, there is more to Myra than rabid, powerful, and Amazonian femininity, but that was irrelevant because Vidal's novel was a gateway into the world beyond rural suburban life -- women with power, intelligence mixed with pulp, a crumbling gender barrier, Hollywood, and the vast world beyond cows and K-Mart.