Greer paid pounds 1/2m for new 'Female Eunuch'

GERMAINE GREER is to join battle with the so-called New Feminism after selling the sequel to her seminal book The Female Eunuch for pounds 500,000.

After a bidding war between seven publishers on Monday the feminist icon's agent sold the rights to The Whole Woman to Doubleday Publishing. The book will be published next year - 30 years after The Female Eunuch make her a household name.

In it she is expected to enter the feminist debate on behalf of an older generation of feminists who believe women still have much to fight for.

"In the book she is looking at the routes feminism has taken, and taken us, over the last 30 years," says Dr Greer's literary agent, Emma Parry. "It will be provocative, but she won't analyse every individual feminist writer and their ideas in turn. She will of course take on some of the more recent trends and significant writers."

In recent years a new generation of feminist thinkers like Natasha Walter, Naomi Wolf and Katie Roiphe have argued for a less strident feminism. Some believe that the focus of the fight for female equality should now be restricted to the workplace. And that the personal is not necessarily political. Another issue to be covered by the book is the failure of feminism adequately to deal with motherhood.

In a major speech last year Dr Greer argued that women had been de-sexed by Nineties culture: "The 1969 female eunuch was nothing but womb," she said. "The 1997 female eunuch has no womb."

She also attacked popular women's magazines which, she said, are inducting young women into a culture that over-emphasises sexual vulnerability and availability.

She has in recent years argued that older women should welcome the onset of the menopause as a kind of release. She also argues that society fails to value older women.

The Female Eunuch has never been out of print since it was published in 1969 and it has sold over 1 million copies in the United Kingdom alone. Along with The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, The Woman's Room by Marilyn French and Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, it formed a wave of popular feminist writing that influenced the thinking of more than one generation of women.

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