Arts and Entertainment

Madeleine St John, who died in 2006, was best known for her debut novel, The Women in Black (1993), and the Booker shortlisted The Essence of the Thing (1997).

Terence Blacker: Our overpaid and overrated public servants

It is truly bizarre that as the economy spirals ever deeper into the red, one group of highly privileged men and women become increasingly wealthy from the public purse – and no one seems to give a damn. MPs may be vilified, bankers may be pariahs, but the fact that senior civil servants can see their already large wages galloping ahead of inflation is treated as if it were an immutable law of nature.

Authors? They're all just jealous, bitchy backbiters

Literary writers look down on crime novelists like me, says Ian Rankin

Does the Female Ennuch still have balls?

It turned society upside down in 1970 and kick-started the women’s movement. But can The Female Eunuch deliver any important life lessons today? First-time reader Alice Jones gives her verdict

'Germaine Greer? She has no idea what makes women tick,' says Nowra

40th anniversary of 'The Female Eunuch' provokes astonishing attack on seminal text of women's liberation

Aloud and proud: The new Performance Poetry

Performance poetry conjures up images of po-faced writers declaiming depressing verse. Could a young collective bring some humour to the spoken word? Holly Williams takes a masterclass

Sarah Sands: It's better to be a young mum – and cheaper, too

The premise of Francis Wheen's new account of the Seventies, Strange Days Indeed, is that recent history can seem remarkably distant. It was pre- mobile phones, pre-Tony Blair and early Germaine Greer. Given the timescale, it is not surprising that we have lurched rather than marched towards social progress, particularly in the field of human relations.

Martin Amis: Now we are 60

Andrew Johnson, Gemma Mcintosh and Russell Arkinstall find the literary world's former enfant terrible still dividing critical opinion

Pandora: Scam gives Campbell cause for complaint

First Jack Straw, then Lt-Col Henry Worsley – now Alastair Campbell has become the latest public figure to fall victim to one of the credit crunch's money-laundering scams.

Hoppy against tyranny: talking about a revolutionary

A new exhibition from activist and revolutionary John 'Hoppy' Hopkins has opened at the Idea Generation Gallery.

Miss Machismo: Zoe Lyons on cracking 'the funniest joke' at last year's Edinburgh Fringe and winding up Germaine Greer

Zoe Lyons has been on the UK comedy circuit for six years, gigging in clubs and fringe festivals all over the country with her own brand of observational wit. She was made a patron of Pride in 2007, and will be performing at the Southbank's Udderbelly venue as part of this year's festival, alongside Craig Hill, Susan Calman and Jonathan Mayor, in Stand Up with Pride!

Page Turner: Where are Amis, Greer, Faulks and Truss now, then?

The first edition of The Independent on Sunday Review, on 28 January 1990, was a generous launching pad for keen young book reviewers. Alongside Anita Brookner and Germaine Greer the books pages carried an essay by Alan Bennett ("Anthony Powell's Books Do Furnish a Room was not my mother's way of thinking," he wrote. "'Books untidy a room' more like or, as she would have said, 'Books upset'") and a column by some chap called Sebastian Faulks. His first column for The Sunday Review was a literary ramble about driving a Sinclair C5 and was much like this one in tone, but with better hair. He left the paper not long afterwards to "concentrate on his writing". Nobody knows what has happened to him since.

Greer joins campaign for more women in business

Professor Germaine Greer will add her confrontational voice to the call by Prowess, the women's enterprise network, for more female entrepreneurs to lead us out of recession. Ms Greer, speaking at the Prowess international conference in Blackpool this week, will also back its campaign urging the Government to put more pressure on banks to help businesses by extending and renewing overdrafts and other facilities.

The Female of the Species, Vaudeville, London<br/>Zorro, Garrick, London<br/>Hangover Square, Finborough, London

A new play satirising feminism has enraged Germaine Greer, on whose experience it is loosely based

The Female of the species, Vaudeville Theatre, London

That banshee wail you hear when the wind is in the northeast is the sound of the biter bit – Germaine Greer is very, very angry at the author of this play about a sixty-ish feminist scribbler (played by Eileen Atkins). Its action is inspired by the time Greer was, briefly, held hostage by a devotee. And that sound you hear from the Vaudeville is the audience roaring at the best Ayckbourn play Alan Ayckbourn never wrote. Joanna Murray-Smith has expanded the original incident into a chorus of demands for approval, apologies, explanations, relief, compensation, and closure. No one, it seems, can be satisfied, but, at the end, remarkably, all are happy, rolling in love, money, and taramasalata.

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