Cookie Mueller: Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black [Canons Edition]

Legendary as an underground actress, female adventurer, and East Village raconteur, Cookie Mueller’s first calling was to the written word: “I started writing when I was six and have never stopped completely,” she once confessed. Mueller’s 1990 ‘Walking through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black’, the first volume of the Semiotext(e) Native Agents series, was the largest collection of stories she compiled during her life. But it presented only a slice of Mueller’s prolific work as a writer. This new, landmark volume collects all of Mueller’s stories: from the original contents of ‘Clear Water’, to additional stories discovered by Amy Scholder for the posthumous anthology ‘Ask Dr. Mueller’, to selections from Mueller’s art and advice columns for ‘Details’ and the ‘East Village Eye’, to still “new” stories collected and published here for the first time. Olivia Laing’s new introduction situates Mueller’s writing within the context of her life—and our times.