Clair Wills

The Search for Perfect Love

The Madwoman's Underclothes, Essays and Occasional Writings 1968–1985

By Germaine Greer

Picador 305pp £9.95 order from our bookshop

Once upon a time sex was a shameful secret; now we know, or think we know, that sex is not the secret but the shroud, within which the most secret parts of the individual are hidden. Germaine Greer is no exception to our post-Freudian era – she has always seen destiny in terms of sexuality, maintaining that women’s freedom to reveal their sex or hide it is the rock on which civilizations are built.

From sources as diverse as Spare Rib, Forum, The Spectator and the New York Times, this collection presents a mosaic of stylish and entertaining essays, some of which are appearing for the first time in print. The subjects are as various as John F Kennedy and vaginal deodorants, rape and artificial insemination, Willie Hamilton’s Sex Discrimination Bill and the death of Jimi Hendrix. There are a number of youthful, often obscene, contributions to the underground press of the late 60’s, as well as a sizeable sample from her Sunday Times period:

I was very aware that my future as a columnist depended principally on my ability to entertain the couple under the Habitat duvet on a Sunday morning, and so I interspersed my more bitter animadversions with frivolous columns about moped riding and going knickerless.

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