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Walking Through Clear Water In a Pool Painted Black by Cookie Mueller

Walking Through Clear Water In a Pool Painted Black by Cookie Mueller


A new edition of the cult classic, with over two dozen additional stories, from the godmother of autofiction. With an introduction by Olivia Laing.


Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black is the only story collection from the legendary writer, actress, ex-biker and columnist Cookie Mueller, published in the UK for the first time.

Mueller chronicles her high-risk, high-reward life in glorious technicolour, from becoming a part of John Waters’ legendary acting troupe to becoming a mother, from describing the hedonism of 1980s New York to critiquing the government’s dire response to the AIDS epidemic. Cookie’s voice is fresh, wise, freewheeling and unafraid of darkness. Like a lysergic Nora Ephron, she is the candid flipside to the idealistic hippie dream. Whether good, bad or ugly, her stories are fiercely entertaining and reliably honest.

Featuring a new introduction by Olivia Laing, this edition collects Mueller’s stories, columns and writings, and presents a testament to a life lived courageously and well.




“A how-to manual for a life ricocheting joyously off the rails … a live corrective to conformity, conservatism and cruelty.” - 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


“People fall in love with Cookie when they read her … She was a matchless beautician of the word.” - Richard Hell 

“Utterly fearless and stunning.” -Steven Long, The Crack Magazine


  • Details

    Imprint: Canongate Canons

    Publication Date: 4 August 2022

    ISBN: 9781838858483

    Pages: 432

    Format: Paperback

Notice to European Customers

All European Customers: You may be required to pay a local import tax on or before delivery for parcels entering the EU. Please check your local import rules for purchases from the UK.


Germany and Republic of Ireland: Due to a high return rate of parcels, we are sadly no longer shipping to Germany and the Republic of Ireland. 

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