John Waters has stepped into the role of novelist, romantic novelist, to be exact, and the result is electrifying.
Cult filmmaker John Waters, best known for pushing the boundaries of the moral and social kind in his iconic films Hairspray, Cry-Baby, and Serial Mom has written his first novel.
Waters is always keen to try his hand at something he hasn’t actually done before, and given the list of things he has done is already so incredibly long and varied, it’s surprising he hasn’t ventured out into this terrain before.
Whilst Waters has already wet his feet in the book world, releasing memoirs, Carsick, and Mr. Know-It-All, which were subsequently nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 2015 and 2020, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance is Waters’ first fiction novel.
In true iconoclastic Waters style, his first novel, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance, is a wild tale of sex, crime, and family dysfunction. The story follows Marsha Sprinkle: Suitcase thief, scammer, and master of disguise. Dogs and children hate her and her own family wants her dead. She’s smart, desperate, disturbed, and on the run. They call her “Liarmouth”—until one insane man makes her tell the truth. Waters writes as sublimely he directs, his switch set somewhere between camp humour and the shockingly obscene, which makes it a thrilling and perverted ride, just so.
A true fan of books, Waters is a self-confessed bibliophile, with over 8,000 books aligning the walls on numerous books shelves in his Baltimore home. During a visit to the Waters house in 2011, Baltimore, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, FT editor noted: “Bookshelves line the walls but they are not enough. The coffee table, desk, and side tables are heaped with books, as is the replica electric chair in the hall. They range from Taschen art tomes such as The Big Butt Book to Jean Genet paperbacks and a Hungarian translation of Tennessee Williams with a pulp fiction cover. In one corner sits a doll from the horror spoof Seed of Chucky, in which Waters appeared. It feels like an eccentric professor’s study or a carefully curated exhibition based on the life of a fictional character.”
Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance is slated for release in Australia mid-September 2022 via Hachette.