The Rosy Crucifixion series encapsulates a formative period in Henry Miller's career. Focusing on his first marriage and divorce (Sexus), his second marriage (Plexus) and his second divorce (Nexus), these bawdy tomes were published from 1949 until 1960. He was well-established by this point, and these novels show the struggles behind becoming a great author. These fictionalized accounts of Miller's life in New York City are far more than dirty sex scenes and drunken revelry: these works represent Miller's maturation into a master of language.
They can be read singularly or in rapid succession. I first read Sexus when I was 16, and it helped put meaning to my sexuality (shocking!) as well as my own struggles with the written word. It was several years later before I picked up Nexus, rife with rich characters and well-set scenes, and Plexus, with its details of the swan song of love gone awry.
Chronologically speaking, although these books were published long after his Tropics, they are the literary precursor to his time in abroad. If you enjoyed Tropic of Cancer or Tropic of Capricorn, fill in the blanks with a romp through Miller's past in Sexus, Nexus and Plexus.
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