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John Waters on his debut novel, "Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance"

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John Waters is a Baltimore-based filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist who has been redefining artistic and social frontiers for decades. "Liarmouth" is his first novel. (JW photo by Greg Gorman/cover art courtesy FSGBooks/Macmillan Publishers)

(This conversation originally aired May 17, 2022)

Welcome to this encore edition of Midday.  Today, we revisit a conversation Tom had in May with 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.

Waters is the author of several books of non-fiction, including his memoir, Mr. Know it All, a road trip diary called Carsick, and Role Models, his compendium of profiles of people who have influenced his work.

Waters’ non-fiction commentary is fascinating, funny, insightful and often a bit outrageous. His 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.

It's called Liarmouth, which Waters describes as a “feel bad romance.”

John Waters joined Tom on our digital line from his home in Baltimore.

Because our show was pre-recorded, we can’t take any new calls or comments, and before we listen to the conversation, we want you to know that John’s book makes more than a few explicit sexual references, and he and Tom refer to a few of them.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.