First Timers

German Novelist Bares All

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Wetlands, the sordid novel by German T.V. personality Charlotte Roche, is finally available in English. The Amazon bestseller, which chronicles an 18-year-old’s exploration of her body following a shaving accident, is so sexually explicit that people have fainted while reading it. And critics have been up in arms—some called the book a “masturbation pamphlet,” others believe that Roche should belong to the feminist cannon. But The Sunday Times’s Joan Smith believes that Roche is unaware of feminists that have preceded her. “[Roche] is parasitic on feminism,” she writes. “Borrowing in its vocabulary, yet being almost totally unaware of her own weirdly ambivalent attitude to the female body.” Believe it or not, Roche has forbidden her own parents from reading the semi-autobiographical book.