Strand Curated Collections: John Waters

John Waters (c) Greg Gorman

Credit: Greg Gorman

Here are books that will help you become a well-rounded, happy neurotic who can finally reject your own guilt and shame and embrace the outer limits of human behavior.”

John Waters is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist who rose to fame in the early 1970s for his transgressive cult films, including “Pink Flamingos,” “Female Trouble” and “Desperate Living.”

Waters breached the mainstream conscience with “Polyester,” and his next film “Hairspray” introduced Ricki Lake and earned a modest gross of $8 million domestically. In 2002, “Hairspray” was adapted to a long-running Broadway musical, which itself was adapted to a hit musical film which earned more than $200 million worldwide. After the crossover success of the original film version of “Hairspray,” Waters’ films began featuring familiar actors and celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Edward Furlong, Melanie Griffith, Chris Isaak, Johnny Knoxville, Martha Plimpton, Christina Ricci, Lili Taylor, Kathleen Turner, and Tracey Ullman.

John Waters takes inspiration from all areas in the spectrum from “low” to “high” art. He has been influenced by such figures as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Federico Fellini, and Ingmar Bergman.

His most recent book, the memoir Role Models, was a Strand bestseller.

John Waters’ Picks

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American Pastoral by Philip Roth Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides My Prizes: An Accounting by Thomas Bernhard The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare by Philip Short Stepin’ Fetchit: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry by Mel Watkins

Books by John Waters

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Shock Value: A Tasteful Book About Bad Taste by John Waters Role Models by John Waters Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters by John Waters