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Germaine Greer
, 1988

by Jacqueline Mitelman

gelatin silver photograph

Germaine Greer (b. 1939) is the author of a basic text of the feminist revolution, The Female Eunuch (1971), which examines the ways in which passivity in women has been encouraged. Born in Melbourne and educated there and in Sydney, Greer has not lived in Australia since the 1960s, but she remains one of the country’s best-known expatriates. For nearly forty years she has been an international academic and media personality and a truculent spokesperson on women’s issues; thousands of fans and foes await her next provocative pronouncement. While her academic specialization is sixteenth and seventeenth century literature, her diverse books include The Obstacle Race (1979), about women painters; Sex and Destiny (1984), about the politics of fertility; Daddy, We Hardly Knew You (1989), an autobiography; The Change (1991), about menopause; and The Beautiful Boy (2003), about the representation of boys in art. Her recent book White Beech is an account of her efforts to restore rainforest vegetation to a one-time dairy farm in southern Queensland. In 2013, the University of Melbourne began the process of acquiring and cataloguing Greer’s great collection of papers, including a rich trove of letters.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
Accession number: 1999.72