Vendor: Harper Perennial
Number of Pages: 240
Dimensions: 8.00 × 5.31 (inches)
Wetlands is narrated by eighteen-year-old Helen Memel, an outspoken, contradictory teenager whose childlike stubbornness is paired with a premature sense of sexual confidence. She speaks from a hospital bed in the Department of Internal Medicine, where she’s recovering from an operation after accidentally cutting her hemorrhoids while shaving. The surgery leaves her bedridden and in excruciating pain. Beyond her physical discomfort, Helen is still reeling over her parents’ divorce.
But while she sees her hospitalization as the perfect way to get her parents in a room together, she continuously fails to synchronize a visitation. To distract herself, Helen boldly flirts with and intentionally tries to unnerve her male nurse, and maintains a constant flow of deeply candid narration that thrusts the reader on “a headlong dash through every crevice and byproduct” (The New York Times) of Helen’s body and mind. Surrounded by surgical instruments and humming Xray machines, she reflects in ever more uncomfortable detail on the eccentric wonders of the female body.
Wetlands is a fearless, gritty and, at times, revolting slap in the face to the glossy, sanitized prescription for femininity espoused by women’s magazines.