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About the Author

Elizabeth Kleinhenz was born in Melbourne, where she has spent most of her life. She enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the Victorian Education Department as a teacher and administrator of English, History, and German. In 2001, she joined the Australian Council for Educational Research and recently retired from the position of senior research fellow. Elizabeth is the author of A Brimming Cup: the Life of Kathleen Fitzpatrick, which was her PhD thesis.


'A brisk, diverting biography [which] ably evokes Greer's dazzling, maddening mind ... her vivid life predominates.'

* The New Yorker *

'She has produced a terrific book - even-handed and entertaining ... Kleinhenz's biography is richly human and intellectually lucid, uncontaminated by cheap psychology. She lays bare Greer's personal flaws, cruelties and venomous tongue, but her quiet triumph is to balance them with the majestic achievements.'

-- Melanie Reid * The Times *

'The Greer that emerges is a complex character whose powers of insight and invention are consistently confounded by her enthusiasm for controversy. Kleinhenz's achievement is to have produced a sympathetic, thoroughly readable portrayal of an ultimately unsympathetic figure.'

-- Lorna Finlayson * The Guardian *

'Greer will no doubt scream at this biography ... Kleinhenz holds her nerve and has made good use of the recently opened Greer Archive at the University of Melbourne.'

-- Lynn Barber * The Oldie *

'How lucky we are that Elizabeth Kleinhenz has mustered the courage to write a biography of a woman who is famous for hating those who attempt such a task! She has written an engaging, nuanced and carefully researched book not just about Germaine Greer but about the societies she has shaped and shocked over the decades. Trust me, you don't have to be a fan of Germaine Greer to thoroughly enjoy this book.'

* Rebecca Huntley *

'Elizabeth Kleinhenz, a former teacher, deserves a bravery medal for writing this biography ... [Greer] has had many identities, often concurrently. Kleinhenz shows us Greer the Shakespeare scholar; the wit; the academic who wrote provocative articles for Oz; the "starf***ker" (Greer's term), who seduced famous men; and the "bully who could be extraordinarily kind" (she would invite society's strays to stay in her home).'

-- Rosamund Urwin * The Sunday Times *

'Kleinhenz's approach is as imaginative as it is conventionally linear. Using interviews with key figures as well as the archive material, she tracks Greer's life from its beginnings in January 1939. Hers is a well-rounded, sympathetic portrait of a remarkable human being, in a narrative that grips from the start. I'm in no position to predict how Greer will respond to this newly unauthorised account of her life, but I found it utterly fascinating.'

-- Sara Dowse * The Sydney Morning Herald *

'[A]n informative look at Greer's cultural impact.'

* Kirkus *

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