John Waters on his first novel, "Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance"
Tom's guest today is John Waters. He’s the director of 16 films, a visual artist with museum shows to his credit, a spoken word artist who performs in venues around the world, an actor, and a pitchman for haute couture. He is also a Son of Baltimore and one of America’s most original and enduring voices in the arts, with a deep artistic palette.
His early films in the 1970s — Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble — earned him monikers like “The King of Sleaze,” “The Pope of Trash,” “The Duke of Dirt,” and the classic, “Prince of Puke.”
It should also be noted, BTW, that when it comes to names, the French Government calls him "an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters."
His visual art has been featured in museum shows, he’s been nominated for a Grammy and his 1988 film, Hairspray, was adapted as a musical that won 8 Tony Awards.
As an actor, he has a role in this season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and he will be touring his stand-up show in the fall.
Waters is the author of several books of non-fiction, including his memoir, Mr. Know It All, a road trip diary called Carsick, and his compendium of profiles of people who have influenced his work, Role Models.
His non-fiction commentary is fascinating, funny, insightful and often a bit outrageous.
Waters's latest book is his first novel, a book that dials up the outrageousness in a big, wild way. His protagonist is as despicable as they come, and the entourage of people in her orbit are as odd as anyone we encountered in the cult classic movies John Waters made more than 50 years ago.
The novel is called Liarmouth, which Waters describes as a “feel-bad romance.”
John Waters joins Tom on our digital line from his home in Baltimore.
You are welcome to join us as well. Call: 410.662.8780. Email: [email protected]. Tweet: @MiddayWYPR
A word about our conversation today: the book has more than a few explicit sexual references, and we will likely refer to a few of them…