Winner of the National Book Award - Non-Fiction 2010
A richly illustrated edition of Patti Smith's classic memoir Just Kids with new material and never-before-seen photographs
It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led tow young poeple on a path of art, devotion, and initiation. Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-second Street; and in 1969, the pair set up camp at the infamous Hotel Chelsea. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years.
Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame, now illustrated with images from iconic photographers including Judy Linn, Kate Simon, and Harry Smith and with a new introduction from the author.
"This book is so honest and pure as to count as a true rapture." Joan Didion
Patti Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary mergence of poetry and rock. Her seminal album Horses, bearing Robert Mapplethorpe's renowned photograph, has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time. She has recorded twelve albums.
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 M Train, Witt, Babel, Woolgathering, The Coral Sea, and Auguries of Innocence.
In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the prestigious title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor awarded to an artist by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Smith married the late Fred Sonic Smith in Detroit in 1980. They had a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Jesse. Smith resides in New York City.