John Waters talks about his first novel

Filmmaker, artist, author and general cultural icon John Waters visits the podcast this week to talk about his first novel, “Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance.” The book shows three generations of women in the Sprinkle family and their very complicated (and antagonistic) relationship to each other. The first of those we meet is Marsha, a non-repentant thief and overall misanthrope; but Waters says he still wants us to mess with her.

“She’s so crazy and so awful you can not believe it at first,” Waters says. “And she’s pretty serious about herself, as all fanatics are. No one in this book has much humor about themselves that I think can be played for fun – just like when I made a movie, the most important thing I told each actor was: ‘Never blink at the audience. Say it as if you believe in every single word. “

Credit…Greg Gorman

Also in this week’s episode, Elizabeth Harris discusses the winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes; and Dwight Garner and Jennifer Szalai talk about books they have recently reviewed. John Williams is the host.

Here are the books discussed by The Times critics this week:

We would love to hear your thoughts on this episode and on the Book Review podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.

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