Synopses & Reviews
"Roche's explicit and provocative debut about an 18-year-old girl with a very active sex life was a bona fide sensation in Germany upon its publication earlier this year. Helen Memel, hospitalized for the treatment of an infected anal lesion, spends much of the novel in the hospital scheming on how to reunite her divorced parents. Between visits by hospital staff and her family, Helen shares her vast sexual experience, details how she rebels against her mother's uptightness by reveling in excretions, and maintains a high level of curiosity about her own body (and, of course, others'). Among the graphic sex scenes and tidbits on her avocado tree growing hobby, Helen dishes gnarly stories about leaving a used tampon in an elevator, dribbling a trail of urine from the bathroom to her bed and eating scabs. Through Helen's mix of eroticism and profanity, Memel attacks conventional views on women's hygiene, sexuality and the definition of femininity. Though there isn't much plot it feels largely like a buffet of filth and screwing Helen's take on life is enough to keep the pages turning." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
With more than one million copies sold in Germany and rights snapped up in twenty-seven countries, Wetlands
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 eighteen-year-old, whose childlike stubbornness is offset by a precocious sexual confidence. She begins her story from a hospital bed, where shes slowly recovering from an operation and lamenting her parents divorce. To distract herself, Helen ruminates on her past sexual adventures in increasingly uncomfortable detail, taking the reader on a sensational journey through Helens body and mind. Punky alienated teenager, young woman reclaiming her body from the tyranny of repressive hygiene (women mustnt smell, excrete, desire), bratty smartass, vulnerable, lonely daughter, shock merchant, and pleasure seeker—Helen 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.
As Helen constantly blurs the line between celebration, provocation, and dysfunction in her relationship with her body, 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.
In a sexually and anatomically explicit novel, 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.