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The Best Literary Ménages à Trois

by Katie Leo 


Tags: Great Writing, erotic literature, Ewan Morrison, Bookslut, The Guardian,

love triangleFor those who want spicier love lives, or at to least read about them, novelist Ewan Morrison has compiled a top ten list of his favorite literary ménages à trois for The Guardian. Writes Morrison: 

The ménage à trois is a rich and rarified fictional seam which arose in the 19th century and originated from memoirs or fictionalised accounts of real-life events.The number of ménages à trois (as yet barely documented) which occurred in the lives of artists, writers and leaders from the 19th century to the present day – from DH Lawrence and George Bernard Shaw to Pablo Picasso and Jack Kerouac – is intriguing, and begs the question: was the ménage à trois the ideal (if publicly unacceptable) lifestyle of the modern 'radical'?

His list includes the following high-profile threesomes:

1) Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway. This erotic and allegedly autobiographical novel tells the story of a writer, his wife, and the young woman they share.

2) A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham. Eventually made into a film with Colin Farrell, this novel by the author of The Hours is about a gay man, his female friend, and their bisexual lover in the era of AIDS.

3) Off the Road: Twenty Years with Cassady, Kerouac and Ginsberg by Carolyn Cassady. The story behind the story of On the Road, as told by the woman who was Neal Cassady’s wife and Jack Kerouac’s lover.

4) Henry and June from the diary of Anaïs Nin. You’ve probably seen the movie, but have you read Nin’s actual accounts of her affair with Henry Miller and his wife June?

5) The Book of Genesis from the Bible. Morrison writes:

In the garden there were not two but three. The temptation of the apple was adultery, and Adam tasted it too. Thus began monogamy and a long history in which couples blamed each other for something involving a third party who was then kept out of the picture. The eradication of the third – this was the original sin.

(Thanks, Bookslut.)

Source: The Guardian

Image by mthaeg, licensed under Creative Commons