Wetlands by Charlotte Roche

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Wetlands—an international sensation with more than a million copies sold worldwide—has been at the center of a heated debate about feminism and sexuality since its publication last spring. Charlotte Roche’s controversial debut novel is the story of Helen Memel, an outspoken, sexually precocious eighteen-year-old lying in a hospital bed as she recovers from an operation. To distract herself, she ruminates on her past sexual and physical adventures in increasingly uncomfortable detail. The result is a funny, shocking, and fearlessly intimate manifesto on sex, hygiene, and the compulsion to obliterate the covenant that keeps girls clean, quiet, and nice.

About Charlotte Roche

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Charlotte Roche was born in 1978 in High Wycombe, England, but was brought up and lives in Germany. She has been a highly respected presenter on the German equivalent of MTV. Her first novel, Wetlands, was an international publishing sensation, selling over 2 million copies worldwide.
Published February 9, 2010 by Grove Press. 241 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Erotica, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Wetlands

The New York Times

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This sexually explicit novel, which was a best seller throughout Europe last year, minutely details the excrescences of a hygiene-busting heroine.

Apr 19 2009 | Read Full Review of Wetlands


SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and teams.

Sep 11 2014 | Read Full Review of Wetlands

Book Forum

Charlotte Roche’s controversial novel, Wetlands, is an uneven yet adventurous catalogue of filth, a feminist critique of what cultural theorist Lauren Berlant calls “hygienic governmentality.” In the case of Wetlands, this means a politics housed in the anarchic, messy body of German teenager Hel...

May 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Wetlands

New York Magazine

But I found that the book was totally unsuccessful in providing, you know, any of the pleasures of reading fiction.

Apr 20 2009 | Read Full Review of Wetlands

New York Magazine

I hope I never have to read it again, but it made me nostalgic for the days of working at the women’s health clinic when we’d sit around, trying to outdo one another with stories of sex gone wrong or gynecological mishaps, and then the nurses would come in with a tale of a patient with a long unt...

Apr 20 2009 | Read Full Review of Wetlands

Arts Fuse

(Just be glad you’re not Tim Mohr, the translator, who probably had to read that 15 times in the German, then try it out five or six different ways in English.

Apr 23 2009 | Read Full Review of Wetlands

LA Times

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it's the third time the magazine has closed, but this time it looks it's really out of luck -- although the website will continue with a new owner, a new editor, and a mandate, according to a source at the New York Observer, to "become a competitor to TMZ."

Oct 28 2008 | Read Full Review of Wetlands

The Spectator

Literary news this week suggests that when it comes to women writing about sex, reviewers are still reacting in the same way as Dr Johnson to his walking dog, surprised that it’s being done at all.

Feb 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Wetlands

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