Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller

-2Cookie, c. 1981 by Ileane Meltzer

Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller is a book by Chloé Griffin about underground actress, writer and NY icon Cookie Mueller.

Cookie Mueller was a firecracker, a cult figure, a wild child, a writer, a go-go dancer, a mother and a icon. A child of suburban 1950s Maryland, she made her name as an actress in John Waters’ films, including Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble, and then as an art critic for Details magazine and a columnist for the East Village Eye. She was also a writer of hilarious and shockingly wise stories, the ‘cure for a bad party,’ and a maven of New York’s downtown art world.  Her writings, especially the collection of autobiographical stories Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black (Semiotexte 1990) have inspired and amazed many and gathered a kind of cult following.

Cookie lived an independent and wild life, going from Provincetown, where she kept a circle of romantic crack-pots and poets around her, to New York City where she collaborated with No Wave and avant-garde filmmakers such as Amos Poe, Eric Michell and Michel Auder, published her writing, and became a star of the nightlife and art scene. Cookie also lit up the stage at the Performing Garage alongside other NYC luminaries such as Taylor Mead, John Heys, Gary Indiana and Sharon Niesp.

Although she died from AIDS in 1989, Cookie has become a counter-culture icon, adored by those who have discovered her work.

Edgewise tells the story of Cookie’s life in the form of an oral history assembled from more than 80 interviews with the people who knew her, including John Waters, Mink Stole, Gary Indiana, Sharon Niesp, Max Mueller, Linda Yablonsky, Richard Hell, Amos Poe and Raymond Foye. The contributors take us from the late-1960s artist communes of Baltimore to 1970s Provincetown and New York, through 1980s Berlin and Positano.

This book marks the first time Cookie’s full story has been told in any form—whether print, film or online. Along with the text, Edgewise includes over 230 illustrations, artwork, unpublished photographs, archival material and images by Philip-Lorca diCorcia, David Armstrong, Robert Mapplethorpe, Peter Hujar and others. –Cookiemuellerbook.com


02hartman_cookie-slide-EJYE-jumboMueller with John Waters at a New York party, 1977 by Bobby Grossman

02hartman_cookie-slide-G27P-jumboArtist Klaus Nomi with a tied-up Mueller, circa 1981 by Anthony Scibelli

02hartman_cookie-slide-GOO2-jumboCookie Mueller in a film still from John Waters’s Multiple Maniacs, 1970.

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