Jenna Mead

Christine Wallace’s book, in twelve chapters, is actually two books. Chapters 1-7 deal with Greer’s childhood and family, secondary and university education including MA and PhD theses, her sexual history and engagement with the counterculture in Britain which pivots around writing for Oz, her career as a groupie and membership of the Suck editorial team. Events are arranged chronologically but it’s often hard to work out the date (and thus Greer’s age), whether she’s in Melbourne or Sydney and, since the chapters are of very different lengths, how much has been included or omitted.

... (read more)

Getting Equal: The History of Australian Feminism sets out to cover the history of feminism in Australia during the period between 1877, when Charlotte Elizabeth McNeilly unsuccessfully petitioned the Sydney court for a divorce from her abusive husband, and now when Helen Osland is currently serving a gaol sentence for the murder of her husband after a married life of brutal abuse.

... (read more)

The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer

by
May 1999, no. 210

‘Though I disagreed with some of the strategies and was as troubled as I should have been by some of the more fundamental conflicts [of feminism], it was not until feminists of my own generation began to assert with apparent seriousness that feminists had gone too far that the fire flared up in my belly.’

... (read more)

Dear Editor,

How disappointing your cover feature on The First Stone turned out to be. I feel very let down by the most mediocre review I’ve read on this most talked-about work. Your former Editor, Rosemary Sorensen, wrote a superb, thought-provoking piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. I expected the review in ABR to be of similar quality.

Brian White, Elwood, Vic.

(Ed’s reply: You might be interested to know that the Sydney Morning Herald chose to republish a shortened version of Cassandra Pybus’s review of The First Stone, on Wednesday 10 May, acknowledging it was first published in ABR.)

... (read more)

The Glass Whittler by Stephanie Johnson

by
April 1989, no. 109

Stephanie Johnson writes short stories and writes mainly about women. It’s as though there’s a specific genre in current writing that ties together these two kinds of writing, for women writing about other women in short prose pieces make up a distinct category that includes almost all of the familiar names of women writing in Australia now. These women writers include migrants who have made their homes in Australia and write from that position. Johnson, for instance, is a New Zealander.

... (read more)

Circles of Faces by Mary Dadswell & Self Possession by Marion Halligan

by
July 1987, no. 92

In her autobiographical sketch One Writer’s Beginnings, Eudora Welty wrote of her mother: ‘But I think she was relieved when I chose to be a writer of stories, for she thought writing was safe.’ Can you just imagine the shock on Chestina Welty’s face when she read, as she must have, this sentence tucked away into the middle of one of her daughter’s first stories: ‘When he finally looked down there was blood everywhere; her lap was like a bowl.’ 

... (read more)