Naomi Wolf's book `Promiscuities' is pub-lished by Chatto and Windus, (pounds 12.99).Reuse content
Naomi Wolf has been moving around most her life. She says: "My dad is a college teacher and used to take sabbaticals - he'd drag the family to the Middle East for a year." Later when Naomi was reading English at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, she explored Europe. Unfortunately her blue American passport from those days is lost, but its green replacement holds an impressive collection of stamps. Acquired in 1994, the passport spans publication of Naomi's second book Fire With Fire and her latest, Promiscuities. In 1991 she received a huge amount of attention for The Beauty Myth, her book in which she attacks the advertising industry's cynical use of women's bodies, not least because she is herself extremely attractive. Since then Naomi has been back and forth to the UK as the number of Heathrow stamps in her passport shows. In 1994 she gave a talk at the Hay-on-Wye festival. Naomi enthuses: "I heard Doris Lessing speak and she's my heroine." In February 1996 she spoke for Amnesty International at Oxford University on sexual humiliation as a human rights issue. Heavy stuff. It is not surprising to learn that the next entry in her passport is for the Bahamas where she and her husband went to an ashram to learn yoga. Naomi is mysterious about her personal life. She doesn't reveal the names of her daughter or her husband, although she will allow that he is a speech writer for President Clinton and he accompanied her on a recent trip to Australia. They visited Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Naomi says: "Australia felt to me the way California must have felt in the Fifties, in its heyday. It is what America blew its opportunity to be - a country where there's no extremes between rich and poor, these sparkling vistas and a huge sense of energy; and with orientation toward Asia, a sense of being a pluralistic society." She adds: "I've never been to Asia, and I'm desperate to go." And, as Naomi is asked to speak all over the world, it is likely she will. She explains: "I'll be invited by a women's organisation to speak and you learn so much so fast because they are telling you. There's this wonderful sense of knowing a little cross section of women's lives in many, many countries and it's an extraordinary way to be a traveller."