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Grunge is the literature and fiction of young people living in inner cities around the world it is not a new genre as publishers would have us believe but traces its roots back through the history of the novel There is one common thread which runs throughout all grunge novels and that is the parody of modern western society and the values which it endorses Justine Ettler Sydneys Empress of Grunge is the author of Marilyns Almost Terminal New York Adventure and The River Ophelia which gave her the empress title Ettler is part of the Australian brat pack of Dirty Realists the grunge writers who reproduce the urban underside of life with every thrust of a fuck every snort of a drug and every pocket of grime that coats our cities Theyre young articulate and write novels that bluntly reflect the nihilism of the generation X-ers They follow in the footsteps of the US grunge writers inspired first by Bret Easton Ellis Less Than Zero American Psycho The River Ophelia was Ettlers first published novel but was written after Marilyns Almost Terminal New York Adventure which has just been released The River Ophelia was a heavy duty novel Confronting repetitive and relentless in its portrayal of an obsessive self-abusive woman called Justine and her quest for love It has been hounded as anti-feminist because it portrays women as weak pathetic victims of themselves as much as of the patriarchy yet it writes under the guise of sexual reclamation Justine masturbates at least once a chapter and the novel drips with an amazing variety of bodily fluids This could be classified as a political novel because of the way it involves the readers in the events it forces the reader to form opinions about what is happening because of the way in which it is written Ettler writes of self mutilation emotional despair and physical and phsychological violence with the dispassionate discourse
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