John Waters Remakes Pink Flamingos for Children

Besides launching a restored version of Multiple Maniacs and opening Kiddie Flamingos at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore filmmaker and artist John Waters has three books in the works, with one expected to come out next spring.

Waters already has written seven books, including Shock Value (1981); Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters (1987); Art: A Sex Book (2003); Role Models (2010) and Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America (2014).

In a recent interview, Waters, 70, said two of the books are for his longtime publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, a subsidiary of Macmillan Publishers.

“I don’t talk much about them because I’m in the middle of writing them,” he said. “It’s kind of bad luck. I signed a two-book deal with FSG, my publisher, and one is called Mr. Know It All. It’s essays about, really, how to avoid respectability at 70 years old. And the other one…is called LIARMOUTH, and it’s a novel about people who steal suitcases at airports.”

Waters’ third book is a published version of the commencement speech he gave to graduates at the Rhode Island School of Design on May 20, 2015. That was the occasion in which he received a doctorate degree and became Dr. Waters.

In his speech, which went viral online, Waters urged the RISD graduates to “prepare sneak attacks on society,” “use technology for transgression, not lazy social living,” and “horrify us with new ideas.”

After four years of college, he said to the graduates, “it’s your turn to cause trouble – but this time in the real world and this time from the inside.”

Last year, Algonquin Books disclosed that it had acquired the book rights to Waters’ RISD speech and plans to publish it under the title Make Trouble, with line drawings for illustrations.

“Since I got in serious trouble in every school I ever went to, the chance to give college graduates career advice seems the perfect ironic end (or beginning?) to my damaged academic career,” Waters said in a press release. “I hope this little book will become the perfect graduation gift from parents to their troubled children who have been driving them crazy for years.

Waters said he expects Make Trouble to be out in the spring of 2017, and the other two will follow.

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.

One reply on “John Waters Has Three Books in the Works”

  1. I would have loved to have heard that commencement address: “horrify us with new ideas” — what a great line! And I adore that pink jacket — the perfect photo for this generation’s Poe! Thanks, FB!

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