Also By This Author
“With her jaunty dissection of the sex life and the private grooming habits of the novel’s eighteen-year-old narrator, Helen Memel, Charlotte Roche has turned the previously unspeakable into the national conversation in Germany. . . . A cri de coeur against the oppression of a waxed, shaved, douched and otherwise sanitized women’s world.”Nicholas Kulish, The New York Times
978-0-8021-4469-0 • $14.00 • Paperback • Feb. 2010
An international sensationwith more than one million copies sold in Germany, and rights snapped up in twenty-seven countriesWetlands is the sexually and anatomically explicit novel that is changing the conversation about female identity and sexuality around the world
Helen Memel is an outspoken, contradictory eighteen-year-old, whose childlike stubbornness is offset by a precocious sexual confidence. She begins her story from a hospital bed, where she’s slowly recovering from an operation and lamenting her parents’ divorce. To distract and console herself, Helen ruminates on her past sexual and physical adventures in increasingly uncomfortable detail; what ensues is “a headlong dash through every crevice and byproductboth physical and psychologicalof Helen’s body and mind” (The New York Times).
Fantastically sexual, Helen is constantly blurring the line between celebration, provocation, and dysfunction in her relationship with her body. Punky alienated teenager, young woman reclaiming her body from the tyranny of repressive hygiene (women mustn’t smell, excrete, desire), bratty smartass, vulnerable, lonely daughter, shock merchant, and pleasure seekerHelen is all of these things and more, and her frequent attempts to assert her maturity ultimately prove just how fragile, confused, and young she truly is.
In the tradition of The Sexual Life of Catherine M. and Melissa P.’s 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed, Charlotte Roche exposes the double bind of female sexuality, delivering a compulsively readable and fearlessly intimate manifesto on sex, hygiene, and the repercussions of family trauma.