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).

Time to stop hating Barbie

TOMORROW IS Barbie's 40th birthday. You probably don't want to know that and, frankly, I wasn't all that thrilled when the Barbie News Desk at Mattel Toys rang me last autumn to prepare me for the big day. Since then there have been at least 10 calls and even an invitation to New York to attend the Barbie Women of Achievement Birthday Ball. Sadly, I had to miss that event, which I'm sure was very pink. But none of this explains why I am writing about Barbie today. I am doing this because when I mentioned the Barbie birthday hard-sell to people, their reactions were so fierce that you would think I was talking about something serious.

Letter: No male feminists

No male feminists

A tribute to the resilience of popular taste

The best news usually comes in the smallest typefaces. So one had to peer at the papers hard last week to learn that the Italian director Roberto Benigni's sharp comedy about the Holocaust, Life is Beautiful, was the most profitable film in America last year (the most profitable, note - not the highest earning, a crude yardstick that measures little more than marketing musclepower). Life is Beautiful was nowhere near king of the world in the gross sense - Titanic took a bloated $1.83bn. But according to the figures in Variety magazine Benigni's sweet slice of life-and-death raked in $140m at the box office, representing a handsome 15-fold return on its original pounds 9m budget.

Books: Be brave, be different, be a woman

The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer Doubleday pounds 16.99

Books: Courage to go with the flow of a novel kind: The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer Doubleday, pounds 16.99, 352pp

Melissa Benn finds that the eternal feminist has cut loose from despair and set sail for Utopia

Letter: Feminist shunned

Feminist shunned

You Ask The Questions: So, Germaine, since animals now have rights, how about men?

Germaine Greer's new book, The Whole Woman, which claims women have settled for a fake equality instead of true liberation, is published next week by Doubleday. Nearly 30 years after she wrote The Female Eunuch, she has been driven to write another feminist polemic by the complacency of a younger generation of women. We asked readers to submit their questions for Dr Greer.

Oh dear, Germaine

Natasha Walter, who has angered Dr Greer, responds to the veteran feminist's sad new book

Nerds love literature too, it seems

Anyone with the right equipment will tomorrow be able to read, on the BBC's website, the result of its month-long poll to identify the "greatest writer" of the millennium. For those with the wrong equipment - well, here is the news.

A woman behaving badly

When she was a lecturer, her dress style made Denise Van Outen look like a Puritan maid

Germaine smacks her sisters

THE MOTHER OF FEMINISM IS BACK AND THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL

A Week in Books: Stop the capital depreciation

London's fictional fabric has fallen into disrepair

The sexiness of ideas

Suddenly people are queuing to see scientists, philosophers, writers. What's afoot?

Leading Article: Feminism is still a cause to fight for

GERMAINE GREER has got her bus pass. She turned 60 yesterday, which gives pause for thought to those for whom it was heaven to be young in the dawn of the sexual revolution. Time for yet another appraisal of what feminism has achieved, and whether there is still a battle to be fought? Hardly. It should be universally accepted that the women's movement has achieved a great deal: that young women today owe many of their freedoms and opportunities to the courage and spirit of Professor Greer and her contemporaries.

Historical Notes: From personal tragedy to new ways of living and old

MOTHERHOOD IS a theme that has, unsurprisingly, been tackled by some of the great feminists of the post- Enlightenment era. Several of these writers, such as Simone de Beauvoir and Germaine Greer, have written about the topic without being mothers themselves. This has lent their arguments an appealing sweep and didacticism but it has also placed more emphasis on rationality and free will than many mothers feel themselves to possess in real life.
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project