I can guarantee that this is a book I would have taken far, far too seriously if I’d read it when I was eleven.
What DID happen to me, as an adult, as a direct result of The Mists of Avalon, though, was natural childbirth. [...] So, if you’ve ever had any curiosity about how it would feel to have your brain come apart and transform you into an animalistic, primal creature who taps into your inner (NOT GODDESS, YOU DO NOT BECOME A GODDESS) vole or ferret or some kind of tiny burrow-dwelling creature that writhes and moans and crawls, natural childbirth is for you. Okay, I think I’m making it sound really unpleasant (which it totally is!), but I guess it is also transformative and powerful and stuff. At any rate, when I was going through transition, I had this full-on hallucination that I was Morgaine, fucking the Horned God at the Beltane Fires, which is what happens when you become actually insane from physical discomfort.
This review of The Mists of Avalon is hilarious and amazing. And I did read this book circa age 11. I have somehow avoided full-on luna/earthmother/hippie-dom (we can probably thank a few choice undergrad profs for ruining any fun concept of The Feminine I may have entertained), but now I’m wondering, what did this book do to me? It left a huge empty hole in my adult life that no other book manages to fill. I keep waiting for the magical unicorn of a literary feministy fantasy novel with Arthurian undertones that will also fulfill by high fucking standards for politics and writing to drop into my lap. It will probably never happen. In the meantime, I find myself doing unreasonable things like watching Game of Thrones, or any movie featuring a castle, then regretting it for days. Misogyny and violence abound! Take me back to Avalon.