Progressive Women's Non-Fiction Reading Circle discussion

Book Discussion > Wetlands

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message 1: by Avory (last edited Apr 21, 2009 12:20PM) (new)

Avory Faucette (avoryfaucette) I'm breaking my own rules with this post, but since I'm trying to keep this community moving, and I haven't read much non-fiction lately, I thought I'd mention a fiction book that's caused quite a stir. Reminder: If you have any books you'd like to mention to the community, please feel free to start a new post under "book discussion."

I decided to read Wetlands after I heard about the big scandal it caused in Germany, and though I can't say I'm necessarily surprised by the angry backlash, I thought a lot of the reviewers were missing the point.

You can see my full review for more details on my thoughts, but what I wanted to note here is that's yes a lot of it is gross, but it's raw and it's real and I think a lot of the commentary exposes some frankly unnecessary woman-hating. The reviews tend to focus on the most disgusting bits of Helen's thoughts, without recognizing how rare it is for women to be able to discuss taboo topics about health, hygiene, and sexuality. What's new about this book is that yes, nothing is off-limits, and yes, a lot of it seems appalling, and there are no apologies. For every sentence that made me cringe with disgust, there was another sentence that made me go "wow! I never thought about that before." Or, "I never thought anyone else would say that out loud." I do think that though extreme, the book hits on a powerful form of feminism among young women that aims to let women talk about their bodies without being branded as a slut, and to peel back some of the taboos that still infect our culture.

Has anyone else read the book, either in German or in English? What did you think, and do you think it lived up to the hype?

message 2: by Tamra (new)

Tamra I've been on the fence about reading it, but I'll definitely pick it up now. There's an interesting interview with the author in Salon The Dirty Girl

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