At long last we have a definitive collection of the work that flowed from the pen of the actress – most closely associated with John Waters – adventurer, "East Village raconteur," and lifelong writer, Cookie Mueller that finally captures a sense – and degree – of her literary output, which is greater than most people realize. Thanks to the fine folks at Semiotext(e), we now have a handy edition that collects not only her titular 1990 anthology but also the cache of stories discovered by Amy Scholder that was published in the impossible to find Ask Dr. Mueller along with a bunch of her art and advice columns originally published in The East Village Other and Details Magazine. Also included are a selection of stories seeing print for the very first time in these pages. All for a very reasonable price. Introduction by Olivia Laing.
"Cookie Mueller wrote like a lunatic Uncle Remus—spinning little stories from Hell that will make any reader laugh out loud. She was a writer, a mother, an outlaw, an actress, a fashion designer, a go-go dancer, a witch doctor, an art-hag, and above all, a goddess. Boy, do I miss that girl."
– John Waters
"She was like a woman in flames – like I'd never seen before. Not just a beauty, but the freedom that she had about herself, like a comet going across the sky once in a century."
– Gary Indiana
"People fall in love with Cookie when they read her stories (I loved her first!). As she did, the stories move through different worlds, from heavy drug use to writing a health column (at the same time); from go-go dancing to art criticism to film and theater acting, from boyfriends and girlfriends to S&M and marriage, etc., etc., etc. With Cookie there was no boundary between herself and her writings. Which isn't to say she didn't work hard on her stories—she did, the same way she worked on her hair. She was a matchless beautician of the word."
– Richard Hell
AND, there's a hefty preview available – HERE – for anyone who feels like digging in now.
BACK IN STOCK!
Now is the time to get hep to that enigmatic polymath connecting so much of mid-to-late 20th century avant garde counter culture. Out of print for over two decades, the still definitive single volume work on Harry Smith is now once again available, courtesy the fine folks at Semiotext(e). Not only that, this is an expanded edition, with additional material gathered since the first edition, along with an expanded insert selection of photographs and reproductions of his visual works in painting and film, making for an approximately 20% larger edition.
Originally put together in the wake of Smith’s death in 1991 by a long-time, close friend of his, Paola Igliori (who also was the founder of Inandout Press, the publisher of the original, 1996 edition), Harry Smith: American Magus is largely composed of intimate interviews – conducted by Igliori – with those who were closest to Smith, both personally and professionally, primarily his fellow filmmakers, musicians, poets, and artists.
Harry Smith was a unique figure in the avant-garde American arts scene, with a lengthy career spanning blues & folk field recordings, jazz-inspired films and animations, painting and photography, along with writings and musings of all of the above. There's a wealth of onnections here that reveals many pathways for further explorations.
Anyone with an hour and a half to spare who is interested in a significantly different experience that covers similar ground, is invited to watch Paola Igliori’s documentary film of the same name.