Salon Interview with Charlotte Roche

booksthumbicon Over at Salon, Nina Powers interviews the German writer Charlotte Roche, whose first novel Wetlands stirred up a lot of controversy in Europe because of its extreme sexual and scatological frankness. My review of the book (which comes out in the United States on April 8 ) will run on PopMatters soon, so I won’t comment on it in any detail here. But, I think Powers does an excellent job with the interview, and gets to the heart of why the book has made so many people uncomfortable. These days it’s very difficult to shock anyone with explicit content alone; instead, Roche’s real provocation lies in insisting that readers who feel shocked or disgusted by her explicit discussion of her heroine’s bodily functions ought to carefully examine the nature of their responses.

Here’s Roche in the interview:

Very often, lately, people have come up to me and say “You look tired,” and I hate it. Women are supposed to always look fit and healthy and pretty. But everything that is sick and tired is all very human—and I think that being human is a big taboo.

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