It’s hard to think of a more embarrassing choice of romantic partner for one of the most prominent feminist writers of the last 50 years. Greer began the letter at an airport in 1976, when she was 37, apparently dismayed that Amis, then 26 years old, was involved with other women. “Now I know that I shall never force this letter upon you,” she wrote ruefully. “The thought of it makes my heart pound, as if we were to shit together.” Although Amis’s books aren’t exactly beloved by feminist critics, Greer told him that his novel Dead Babies made her “helpless with desire for you.”
This is surely material worthy of a book, though it’s not likely to be made available to the public for a long time yet. Greer didn’t seem to have remembered that it was in her archive, which she sold to the University of Melbourne in 2013, and doesn’t want it released. For the time being, a close read of it by Margaret Simon, the Australian journalist who unearthed it, will have to do.