Lately, Germans have been fascinated by more than just David Hasselhoff. Charlotte Roche, a popular British-born TV personality in Germany, has written the best-selling novel in the world on Amazon.com in March. The novel entitled, “Feuchtgebiete,” which loosely translates to “wetlands,” sounds like a daringly explicit treatise on the female body and sexuality. Some critics have described it as “literary porn.” In an interview with Granta, Charlotte Roche talks about her novel:
“I’m convinced that in contemporary society a lot of women have a very messed-up attitude to their own bodies. We’re obsessed with cleanliness, with getting rid of our natural excretions and our body hair. So I wanted to write about the ugly parts of the human body. The smelly bits. The juices of the female body. Smegma. In order to tell that story, I created a heroine that has a totally creative attitude towards her body – someone who has never even heard that women are supposedly smelly between their legs. A real free spirit.”
After just finishing Scott Spencer’s, “Willing,” I’m frustrated with authors who pull their punches and fail to deal with our base instincts and our inhibitions directly in an honest manner.
I look forward to the US release of this novel for two reasons: one, to find out if Charlotte Roche’s novel is as fearless as it sounds; and, two, to see how the this novel impinges upon America’s puritanical sentimentality.
(Photograph of Charlotte Roche by Jochen Schmitz)