Hegemann’s novel sparked a plagiarism controversy when a blogger revealed that she had lifted and adapted substantial sections of her novel from a writer blogging under the pseudonym Airen (published as the novel Strobo. (2009)). Hegemann explores issues of authenticity and originality, as well as the expectations placed on young, female authors. Set in and around Berlin’s club scene, Axolotl Roadkill also explores the performance of hedonism that its characters engage in, and engages with the queer sides of the Berlin Szene. Class features prominently, too, with protagonist Mifti both revelling in and bemoaning her privileged, upper middle-class milieu. A tough read in places (perhaps better for a Master’s class), but Hegemann’s recently released film Axolotl Overkill (2017) may help make the novel more accessible to undergraduate audiences too.

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