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Suzy Freeman-Greene

Suzy Freeman-Greene is the Arts and Culture editor of The Conversation. For many years she wrote a regular opinion column for The Age, where she was also a features and arts editor and feature writer. Her essays, critical writing and fiction have been published widely in places such as Meanjin, Island, and Good Weekend.

Suzy Freeman-Greene reviews 'Beauty' by Bri Lee

January–February 2020, no. 418 16 December 2019
My local shopping centre has seven nail bars, two waxing salons, and a brow bar. A cosmetic surgery clinic touts ‘facial line softening’ and ‘hydra facials’. A laser skin clinic offers cosmetic injections. Three other beauty temples offer ‘cool sculpting’, ‘eyelash perms’, and ‘light therapy’ for skin. I live in a gentrified, working-class suburb in Melbourne’s inner west. I ... (read more)

Suzy Freeman-Greene reviews 'Choice Words: A collection of writing about abortion' edited by Louise Swinn

April 2019, no. 410 11 March 2019
Rosie Waterland was twenty-one, couch surfing, and working at a cinema when she learned she was pregnant. A hot flush, then a wave of nausea, hit her on the toilet. ‘It was the kind of nausea that takes away any sense of dignity that a person has,’ she writes. She stripped off, lay down on the bathroom floor, and prayed for the feeling to pass. Waterland had met a ‘skinny hipster’ at a Sy ... (read more)

Suzy Freeman-Greene review 'Beyond the Silver Screen: A history of women, filmmaking and film culture in Australia 1920–1990' by Mary Tomsic

June-July 2018, no. 402 25 May 2018
In 1971, Australian filmmaker Joan Long wrote the script for a film about gentrification in the Sydney suburb of Paddington. At a screening in London, it was introduced by director Peter Weir. When asked who the scriptwriter was, Weir replied that she was a housewife, according to a friend of Long’s. Around this time, director Gillian Armstrong applied for a job at the ABC, only to be told that ... (read more)

Suzy Freeman-Greene reviews 'Bitch Doctrine: Essays for dissenting adults' by Laurie Penny

November 2017, no. 396 25 October 2017
Like Wonder Woman loping across a battlefield, arms raised, bracelets repelling bullets, Laurie Penny charges boldly into the culture wars. In Bitch Doctrine, we traverse trigger warnings, misogynistic trolls, sex work, commodity feminism, gender identity, transphobia, free speech, nerd entitlement, left-wing rape apologists, and toxic masculinity, exemplified by the rise of Donald Trump. Natural ... (read more)

Suzy Freeman-Greene reviews 'Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and me' by Bill Hayes

May 2017, no. 391 30 April 2017
When Oliver Sacks began seeing Bill Hayes in 2009, he had never been in a relationship. He wasn’t out as a gay man and hadn’t had sex for thirty-five years. Sacks, the celebrated author and neurologist, was almost thirty years older than Hayes, who had moved to New York from San Francisco after the sudden death of his partner. The two visited the Museum of Natural History and went for walks in ... (read more)

Suzy Freeman-Greene reviews 'The Political is Personal: A 20th century memoir' by Judith Buckrich

April 2017, no. 390 29 March 2017
It is rare to read a memoir as joyfully insouciant about sex as Judith Buckrich’s The Political Is Personal. She describes the delicious state of discovering it, at seventeen, as ‘a sex haze’. At nineteen, she has an intense, dark-eyed boyfriend but is also sleeping with Morry, whose chief merit is his staying power in bed. ‘Once, to prove the point, he read a book while fucking me,’ she ... (read more)

Suzy Freeman-Greene reviews 'In the Darkroom' by Susan Faludi

January–February 2017, no. 388 19 December 2016
The subject line of the email ­– from a father in Budapest to his daughter in Oregon – is ‘Changes’. ‘I’ve got some interesting news for you,’ writes Steven. ‘I have decided that I have had enough of impersonating a macho aggressive man that I have never been inside.’ Thus Susan Faludi, an author known for her books on feminism and the collapse of traditional masculinity, lea ... (read more)