Your wait is almost over. Four years after his oddball memoir Role Models and two years after his goofball journey, six weeks from today FSG will release Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America [Kindle]. Yes, at 66 he really thumbed alone from Baltimore to San Francisco. Fifteen rides with total strangers took him eight days, and he says of his drivers, “Pot smokers, cops, I got everybody. And everybody was lovely.” Last year he explained the new book saying, "The first half is a little novella. I imagine the 15 best rides that could ever happen, and I did the 15 worst rides that could ever happen."
His trashy yet sweet movies are part of the permanent collection at MoMA, but beyond the films John Waters has written four books, published three volumes of photographs, and his artwork has been shown in many museums and galleries internationally. As for the movies, he's made sixteen, with his best work clustered from 1972 to 1988: Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living, Polyester and Hairspray starring the incomparable Divine [also pictured] who was his special ally since their shared childhood in Maryland. Johnny Depp fans might insist on including 1990's Cry Baby, but the four movies since then seem like lesser efforts, and, horribly, it's been a full ten years since he's directed anything. His children's Christmas movie starring Johnny Knoxville and Parker Posey, endearingly titled Fruitcake, has been canceled, as has the sequel New Line convinced Waters to write, Hairspray 2: White Lipstick, imagining Tracy in the late 60s during the British Invasion and Vietnam. Today, he's 68.