Books

Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

The Madwoman’s Underclothes

Essays and Occasional Writings

by Germaine Greer

“[Greer] is, perhaps, one of the marvelous letter writers of an age that no longer trifles with them much. Her essays, columns and books–transcripts as they are of a heroic heart and intellect–seem to have been dashed off in the fire and dispatched to her many sisters.” –The New York Times Rook Review

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 336
  • Publication Date August 31, 1990
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8711-3308-3
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $17.00

About The Book

Always strong and fearless, Germaine Greer strikes right at the heart of the matter—be it John F. Kennedy and vaginal deodorants, rape and artificial insemination, cosmetic surgery, the death of Jimi Hendrix, or the famine in Ethiopia. This collection represents a mosaic of essays, long and short, some of which are appearing for the first time in print and all of which chafe the conventional and are bristling with argument.

From the youthful liveliness of her sixties pieces, which “got up everybody’s nose,” to the depth and complexity of her later work, The Madwoman’s Underclothes is a reflection both of an era and of the changing ideas and styles of Germaine Greer: “The essays on Brazil, Cuba, and Ethiopia represent my coming of age. Something like a coherent system of values is beginning to emerge after my years of wandering, although I have certainly not arrived at a set of articles of faith, and never will, I hope.”

Greer’s opinions on social, political, and sexual trends and mores are tendered in her unique fashion—outspoken, with rapier wit and no tolerance for narrow-mindedness. But as explosive, angry, and often funny as these essays are, they also reveal tenderness and sadness and that emotion that underlies all of Greer’s work—passionate commitment.

Praise

“She is, perhaps, one of the marvelous letter writers of an age that no longer trifles with them much. Her essays, columns and books–transcripts as they are of a heroic heart and intellect–seem to have been dashed off in the fire and dispatched to her many sisters.” –The New York Times Rook Review

“Brilliant, witty, entertaining, incisive, always informed, the essays cover the diverse topics that are the history of the women’s movement and our contemporary world. Greer’s range is enormous.” –The Los Angeles Times Rook Review

“Brilliant, fiercely argumentative, unafraid of sex or old boys or rock jocks, Greer allowed herself to become a standard bearer for the “60s.” –The Boston Globe

“From the start, Greer’s has been a memorable voice–direct, passionate, unrepentant–and this collection of her writings is witness to the tenacity of her personal vision . . . . Greer is informed, intelligent, genial, and never boring, and this is a provocative one-woman show.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Germaine Greer was on the cutting edge of the counterculture. How pre­scient Greer was from the start . . . She was able to see through the rhetoric of left and right, nailing instances of repressive tolerance in Swiftian tones, even at the risk of making herself unpopular . . . . Bracing and elegant as well as ruthlessly honest.” –Vanity Fair

“To be able to trace the literary development of this fine and incisive mind is a joy.” –The Sunday Times (London)

“Masterful, forthright, lucid, by turns passionate and persuasive, teasing, paradoxical, provocative. . . . Impossible not to admire the wit, courage, originality and sheer entertainment of this brilliantly Shavian book.” –The London Standard

“Illustrates once again this writer’s astonishing range. . . . Her pieces are polemical and intelligent, and (with a healthy degree of provocation) reliably invite disagreement.” –Vogue

“This book is not like a normal collection of essays, because Germaine Greer doesn’t write normal essays. Everything she writes is like a salvo or sortie in a larger campaign. The enemy may change; in the early years it’s the hypocrisy and ignorance of sexual repression, by the eighties it’s the no less ignorant self-satisfaction of the West, undervaluing cultures as different as those of Cuba or Ethiopia. Whatever the enemy, the ferocity rarely fades.” –New Society (London)

“Her restlessness makes her a very good reviewer, unsettled and unsettling in her judgments, rushing in and making straight for the major, central issue almost everybody else had been sidestepping or forgetting.” –The Times (London)