Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, New Edition: Collected Stories

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5.4 X 7.9 X 1.0 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author
Cookie Mueller (1949-1989), nee Dorothy Karen Mueller, played leading roles in John Waters's Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living, and Multiple Maniacs. She wrote for the East Village Eye and Details magazine, performed in a series of plays by Gary Indiana, and wrote numerous stories that would only be published posthumously. She died in New York City of AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Olivia Laing is the author of Crudo, To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring, and The Lonely City, which was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and translated into fifteen languages.

Chris Kraus is the author of four novels, including I Love Dick and Summer of Hate; two books of art and cultural criticism; and most recently, After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography.
"Mueller's unflappability, her refusal of stasis and self-pity, her hunger for beauty, her readiness to find it where few else would look--all of it adds up into a singular code for living, in which the worst thing a person could do is flinch."
--Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker

"Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black is a cult classic for writers... the reissue's new (to us) pieces demonstrate Mueller's artistic process. They also map out her singular approach to life."
Natasha Stagg, Bookforum

"Her chronicles of the last days of American countercultural life New York's downtown scene bursts with energy."
--Zoe Dubno, The Nation

"It's not just the stories that are exciting, it's the revelation they contain--that we might allow such wildness to stumble on to our own paths, even just for an afternoon. I love her for reminding me, with gentle pressure between the lines, to go out tonight, to see what happens, to live a little harder."
--Eva Wiseman, The Guardian

"Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, a newly expanded collection of her complete stories (some true, some not, some in between), provides many opportunities to fall in love with Mueller."
--Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times

"Every art writer girl in New York wishes she was Cookie Mueller, even if she doesn't know it. Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, published after Mueller died in 1989, collected the essays and short stories of the woman beloved from the Haight-Ashbury to Mudd Club to Capri. Semiotext(e)'s reissue, out April 26, more than doubles the text, including her Dr. Mueller advice column, a novella, and four recently discovered, previously unpublished works. It is a guidebook for a life lived freely but with care, fleeting but sublime. If a vibe shift toward hedonism is real, then total surrender to adventure--as in, not just taking pictures of friends smoking cigarettes inside, but actually breaking the rules--should be the blueprint."
--Greta Rainbow, W Magazine

"I love Mueller the actress, but I return to Mueller the writer. Her writing makes me feel the way many of her contemporaries did about her: hypnotized by the generosity she afforded others and how quickly she found humanity in mayhem."
--Sasha Frere-Jones, 4Columns

"Cookie's writing is like hearing American slang echo in the marble halls of a Florentine museum. Every sound is magnified. And there's no room for squares. Read her for all the drugs you'll never take, for all the people you'll never fuck. Read her as a reminder to seek out those beyond the church gate, the artists, alley dwellers, and freaks. She will take you for a ride on her Moto Guzzi and crush you with the will to live."
--Nathan Dunne, Los Angeles Review of Books

"A writer of rare voice and imagination."
--Negar Azimi, The New York Review of Books