Cookie Mueller was a firecracker, a cult figure, a wit, a wild child, a writer, a go go dancer, a mother, an unlikely queer icon, an alchemist, a lightning rod in dark times. A child of suburban 50‘s Maryland and post-beatnik 60’s freakdom, she made her name first as an actress in the films of John Waters, and then as an art critic and columnist, a writer of hilarious and sublime stories and short fiction and a maven of the Downtown art world. Edgewise tells the story of Cookie‘s life through an oral history composed from over 80 interviews with the people who knew her. After tracing back some of the steps of the author’s 7-year trip in search of Cookie, the voices take us from the late 60’s artist communes of Baltimore to 70’s Provincetown where romantics and queers crawled the dunes and discos, to the sleepless creative high of post-industrial Bohemian New York, through 80‘s West Berlin and Positano, and into the depths and contradictions of Cookie’s life and loves.
Since her death from AIDS in 1989, Cookie’s work and life have made her an underground icon. Edgewise consists of interviews with friends, John Waters, Mink Stole, Gary Indiana and others and original artwork, unpublished photographs and archival material, and photo contributions by Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, David Armstrong, Robert Mapplethorpe, Peter Hujar et al. Edgewise is a meditation on memory and story-telling. Edited ny Chloe Griffin. Published by B-Books Berlin 2014. 340 pages.