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22 November 1979
The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work 
by Germaine Greer.
Secker, 373 pp., £12.50, November 1979, 1 86064 677 8
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... because we have all grown up taking their prestigiousness for granted and calling other art forms, including the massive ones of architecture and gardening, minor arts.’ With this one sentence GermaineGreer provokes several queries and a vehement expostulation. What is ‘prestigiousness’ and how does it differ from the prestige in the earlier part of the sentence? Why single out portable ...
14 June 1990
by Gay Clifford.
188 pp., £14.99, May 1990, 0 241 12976 1
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Selected Poems 1940 – 1989 
by Allen Curnow.
Viking, 209 pp., £15.99, May 1990, 0 670 83007 0
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Collected Poems and Selected Translations 
by Norman Cameron, edited by Warren Hope and Jonathan Barker.
Anvil, 160 pp., £14.95, May 1990, 0 85646 202 0
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Collected Poems 
by Enoch Powell.
Bellew, 198 pp., £9.95, April 1990, 0 947792 36 8
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... three classes now notoriously indistinguishable)’. Gay Clifford was an academic, and by all accounts a brilliant and effective one, a lecturer in English at Warwick, where she was a colleague of GermaineGreer, and the author of a subtle and distinguished book of criticism called Transformations of Allegory. She was also a poet, who passionately wanted to be a poet, and to combine it with being a ...

Thought Control

Michael Mason

15 March 1984
Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility 
by Germaine Greer.
Secker, 469 pp., £9.95, March 1984, 0 436 18801 5
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... GermaineGreer has three main propositions to advance in her new book. These are, first, that genital, recreational sex is overvalued in our culture. Second, that birth-control programmes in the Third World are ...


Jenny Diski: Germaine Greer

8 January 2004
The Boy 
by Germaine Greer.
Thames and Hudson, 256 pp., £29.95, October 2003, 9780500238097
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... you with a certain affection. Eventually, you become a beloved puppy that is always forgiven for soiling the carpet. No matter what taboos you kick out at, people just smile and shake their head. GermaineGreer has become a licensed controversialist, which is a pity because we ought to have someone in our ageing generation who still has the capacity to really piss people off. But look, here we are in ...

Stubble and Breath

Linda Colley: Mother Germaine

15 July 1999
The Whole Woman 
by Germaine Greer.
Doubleday, 351 pp., £16.99, March 1999, 0 385 60015 1
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Germaine GreerUntamed Shrew 
by Christine Wallace.
Cohen, 333 pp., £18.99, March 1999, 1 86066 120 3
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... version, the one with a metallic trunk of a woman on the cover, hanging mutilated from a wardrobe rail. In retrospect, you could argue this was a more apposite image than the artist intended. Greer’s women seem often to lack a head and its contents, not just other body parts. But at the time, the book grabbed with its brilliance. There were those brief, cumulatively hard-hitting chapters, and ...


Mary-Kay Wilmers

3 March 1983
Difficult Women: A Memoir of Three 
by David Plante.
Gollancz, 173 pp., £7.95, January 1983, 0 575 03189 1
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... while making her sound entirely unlovable, he keeps telling us how much he loved her. Jean Rhys died in 1979; Sonia Orwell, George Orwell’s widow, a year later. Mr Plante’s third subject is GermaineGreer, who, as well as being a friend with a house near his in Italy, was his colleague for a term at the University of Tulsa (‘from Tulsa I wrote letters to Sonia, one long one about Germaine ...

Poxy Doxies

Margaret Anne Doody

14 December 1995
Slip-Shod Sibyls: Recognition, Rejection and the Woman Poet 
by Germaine Greer.
Viking, 517 pp., £20, September 1995, 0 670 84914 6
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... This is an interesting, infuriating, brilliant, maddening book. In short, it is a work by GermaineGreer, who prefers (or so one sometimes thinks) anything to stagnation. The title is taken from Pope, whose Virgilian Sibyl in the Dunciad is the modern female British poet as satire liked to see her ...


Sylvia Lawson

20 April 1989
Daddy, we hardly knew you 
by Germaine Greer.
Hamish Hamilton, 312 pp., £13.95, March 1989, 0 241 12538 3
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... she never says just how much – to write a book about the parent who had persistently evaded both her curiosity and her love. The question presents itself: how much space is there really between a Greer book about her father and the next slab of, say, Maclaine or Taylor, Going Public on some hitherto neglected item of spiritual or carnal adventure? Less, it seems at times, than one might have hoped ...


Mary-Kay Wilmers: The Menopause

10 October 1991
... about what to wear, what to cook, and what colour to paint the downstairs lavatory. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but not nearly as much of one as I would like it to be. I am the same age as GermaineGreer and therefore in much the same relation to the subject of her new book, The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause,* as I was to The Female Eunuch. It’s my story. At least that’s how I see ...


Carolyn Steedman

4 December 1986
The Madwoman’s Underclothes: Essays and Occasional Writings 1968-1985 
by Germaine Greer.
Picador, 305 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 330 29407 5
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... some of her poems, in Telling the Truth about Jerusalem, Elizabeth Wilson has recently produced Hidden Agendas, and Cora Kaplan’s collection from a ten-year period has just appeared in Sea Changes. GermaineGreer’s Madwoman’s Underclothes, designed, according to the dust-jacket, to demonstrate ‘what a force in our cultural life she is’, covers a much longer stretch of past time, from 1968 to ...

Signor Cock

Roy Porter

25 June 1987
by Andrea Dworkin.
Secker, 259 pp., £10.95, June 1987, 0 436 13961 8
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... Just about the only woman praised in this book is Joan of Arc, who, Dworkin assures us, contrary to Medieval chronicles, must have actually killed some men in battle. On the dust-wrapper, GermaineGreer tells us this is ‘the most shocking book any feminist has yet written’, and Shere Hite praises it as ‘ground-breaking, outstanding, original, and an act of forbidden rebellion’. I can ...
24 October 2019
On Rape 
by Germaine Greer.
Bloomsbury, 96 pp., £12.99, September 2018, 978 1 5266 0840 6
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... In​ 1971 GermaineGreer hosted two episodes of the Dick Cavett Show on American television. How she moved from being a guest on the programme while she was promoting The Female Eunuch to being its stand-in presenter isn’t ...


Zoë Heller: Girl Talk

19 February 1998
Animal Husbandry 
by Laura Zigman.
Hutchinson, 304 pp., £10, January 1998, 0 09 180219 9
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Bridget Jones’ Diary 
by Helen Fielding.
Picador, 310 pp., £5.99, June 1997, 0 330 33277 5
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Does My Bum Look Big in This? 
by Arabella Weir.
Hodder, 246 pp., £5.99, March 1998, 9780340689486
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... Not long ago, James Wolcott wrote an article for the New Yorker lamenting the ‘softened, juvenilised’, timbre of modern female journalism. In the old days, he said, women like GermaineGreer and Valerie Solanas made men nervous. They produced feisty, aggressive prose. They were rude and polemical. They wrote, in Norman Mailer’s words, like ‘very tough faggots’. But somewhere in the ...

Horror like Thunder

Germaine Greer: Lucy Hutchinson

21 June 2001
Order and Disorder 
by Lucy Hutchinson, edited by David Norbrook.
Blackwell, 272 pp., £55, January 2001, 0 631 22061 5
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... In 1679 a small book with the resonant title Order and Disorder; or, the world made and undone was published in London. The title was intended to touch a nerve. The Restoration crisis had never gone away; memories of the disorder of the Civil War and Interregnum were still green. Peers and Commons were united in their struggle to exclude a Catholic heir to the throne, while the travelling roadshow ...
6 July 1995
Hippie Hippie Shake: The Dreams, the Trips, the Trials, the Love-ins, The Screw Ups … The Sixties 
by Richard Neville.
Bloomsbury, 376 pp., £18.99, May 1995, 0 7475 1554 9
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... generally not until life had got more sensible again. Some made writing careers for themselves which developed smoothly enough from their media involvement at the time – Richard Neville himself, GermaineGreer, Robert Hughes, Charles Shaar Murray. Some people died, but only the famously talented (Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison) stick in the public memory. Most of the freaks, hippies and radicals ...

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