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Germaine Greer Biography

(1939– ), The Female Eunuch, The Obstacle Race, The Revolting Garden, Sex and Destiny

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Francis Edward Grainger Biography to Thomas Anstey Guthrie Biography

Australian feminist writer, born in Melbourne, educated at the universities of Melbourne, Sydney, and Cambridge. In 1964 she settled in Europe, spending much of her time in Britain and Italy. Among other academic posts she has been a lecturer at the University of Warwick and Director of the Tulsa Center for the Study of Women's Literature. She achieved worldwide fame with The Female Eunuch (1970) after its publication in the USA in 1971; the book questioned stereotypical depictions of, and assumptions about, women and achieved something of a cult status during the 1970s. The Obstacle Race (1979), The Revolting Garden (1979; under the pseudonym ‘Rose Blight’), and Sex and Destiny (1984) extended her feminist concerns. Her other works include The Mad Woman's Underclothes: Essays and Other Writings 1968–85 (1986), and Daddy We Hardly Knew You (1989), which explored her own family background. In The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause (1991) Greer argues passionately that the end of fertility can signal new freedoms for women. Greer studies the lives and work of poets including Sappho, Katherine Philips, and Aphra Behn in Slip-Shod Sybils (1995), arguing that because so few women wrote poetry in English before 1900, their work cannot be relied upon to be representative of women's sensibility and is often derivative and inauthentic. She has also edited The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, The Matchless Orinda (1993).

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