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Just Kids Paperback – Deckle Edge, November 2, 2010
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"Sing to Me" by LA Reid
My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next | Check out "Sing to Me".
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Smith had her first exhibit of drawings at the Gotham Book Mart in 1973 and has been represented by the Robert Miller Gallery since 1978. Her books include Just Kids, winner of the National Book Award in 2010, Wītt, Babel, Woolgathering, The Coral Sea, and Auguries of Innocence.
In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor given to an artist by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
In 1980, she married the musician Fred Sonic Smith in Detroit. They had a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Jesse. Smith resides in New York City.
Top Customer Reviews
Just Kids doesn't inundate the reader with biographical details about Mapplethorpe or too many of Smith, it`s not a diarists memoir but more of an impressionistic one. Smith writes like her prose is poetry, it flows easily over the page, and flows easily from scene to scene as she and Mapplethorpe struggle to define themselves and their art. What it does give is a sense of the person Mapplethorpe was, a person who cared about Smith, and she about him. Her insight into Mapplethorpe is both sympathetic and empathetic, without seeming to have the forced perspective of hindsight. It may be, but Smith's understanding and acceptance of Mapplethorpe's dualities seem contemporaneous to the moment. We're witness to the portentous moment Mapplethorpe is given his first camera, and when Smith was releasing her first album, Horses, she knew no one else but Mapplethorpe could do the cover photograph. Just Kids is interspersed with Mapplethorpe's photographs of Smith.
Smith has a good sense of humor about herself in this period, living at the Chelsea Hotel, Allen Ginsburg tried to pick her up because he thought she a good looking young man. Or how no one in her and Mapplethorpe's circle believed she was neither a heroin addict nor a lesbian.
Smith who claims among her influences, Rimbaud and Baudelaire, is firmly in the romantic vein, down to the presentation of the book with rough hewn page cuts and sepia wash, all combine to the nostalgic feel of the book. If someone were to write a memoir for me, this is what I would wish it to be.
Well, I have. Patti Smith has not, at least not in the case of her exquisite new memoir, "Just Kids". The difference between me and her is that my attempts to transcend mere description when writing about my past always deflates either into senseless name dropping or banal "my summer vacation essay" style explorations, whereas Smith, in "Just Kids," transcends all the pitfalls of the memoir genre and tells a poignant tale of two struggling artists in the late 60s - 70s in New York City--her and Robert Mapplethorpe--without sounding pompous, pretentious or boring.
It's always the inexplicable that's most interesting. If you strip away what's ineffable about the spirit of a defining period of time you are left mainly with the banal: eating, sitting, hanging out, arguing, making money, paying rent, and so on. That's why memoirs are so difficult to execute and only a talented writer tempered with restraint, such as Patti Smith, can adequately do the genre any justice.
As I was reading "Just Kids" I was continually struck with just how easy this book could have degenerated into a self-absorbed, indulgent tale of bohemianism and name dropping. The story itself is set up to lend itself to this sort of abuse.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i dont care for most of her singing, however, as a writer i love her. she is clear and keeps her ego out of the story. i could not book the book down.Published 4 days ago by Joan Winter
Fantastic, from her heart, and very pure. I learned a lot, about Patti and Mapplethorpe and about my own writing.Published 4 days ago by Joan Brooks Baker
I loved this book, wanted to read everything she wrote and listen to all of her music.Published 4 days ago by Trevor Tempest
Heartfelt and warm, Smith's soaring prose tells of a very special time for artists in America we are like to never see again. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Christian Durso
Oh yes, the Godmother of Punk does not fail us at all in telling her story of youth and adventure with a deep well of talent, love and remembrance of her friend, Robert.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
An intimate love letter . Drops names like bombs and gives great insight into the artistic rennaisance of NYC in and around the 70's .Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
Patti Smith is a fabulous and nuanced writer, as well as a legend in rock. Her story was wonderfully and affectionately told but without a lot of sentiment and fluff. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Blair Davis
Beautiful heart breaking mystifying illuminating: this book
can serve as guide for the young. Take risks now before you die tomorrow.