Myra Breckinridge Around the World

Italy, 1969
Japan, 1969
Germany, 1969
Netherlands, 1970
Finland, 1979

This first row of covers (above), some of the earliest translations of Myra Breckinridge, has several images of Myra at her most provocative. Although the Japanese edition merely shows a circle of mini-Myras - the image is adapted from the U.S. first edition - no American publisher would have dared issue the book with a cover as provocative as, say, the German, Dutch or Finnish covers seen here. In fact, Vidal's long-time British publisher, Heinemann, would not publish the book, and the publisher he found instead required some judicious excisions in the text. Yet most of these erotic European covers appeared contemporary with the English-language first editions.

FEATURED PAGE: A slide show of Myra Breckinridge covers

The Polish translation of Myra could only come about after the fall of Communism in that country, and the Turkish edition on a Moslem country is still something of an anomaly. Both of these covers depict Myra's duality (i.e., her androgyny). Three 21st Century foreign editions of the novel take different approaches. The very strange Slovene translation seems to picture Olive Oyl from the Popeye cartoons - hardly how one would think of Myra! The Russian and French editions, both of which include Myron, go for more abstract-cum-erotic representations.

Poland, 1992
Turkey, 1995
Slovenia, 2001
Russia, 2002
France, 2002

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