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Just Kids - Patti Smith

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Published: 2nd November 2010
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Published: 24th April 2012
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Please note the pages on this book have been produced with bevelled or rough edge to create an old style look. The publisher has deliberately chosen to produce the book this way.

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USA: 2010 National Book Award Winner

Product Description

Winner of the 2010 Non-Fiction National Book Award Patti Smith's evocative, honest and moving coming-of-age story of her extraordinary relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe

It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people 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 eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court.

In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous—the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. 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, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and 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.

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 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.

About the Author

Patti Smith is a writer, artist, and performer. Her seminal album Horses was followed by nine releases, including Radio Ethiopia; Easter; Dream of Life; Gone Again; and Trampin'. Her artwork was first exhibited at Gotham Book Mart in 1973, and she has been associated with the Robert Miller Gallery since 1978. Strange Messenger, a retrospective of three hundred works, made its debut at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and has been exhibited worldwide.

WRITE A REVIEW

Exciting read about exciting times in NYC

5

Being a fan of Patti and Robert's work, I was excited to read this book. It didn't disappoint. I learnt a lot and am now eager to learn more.

Melbourne, AU

true

Just Kids

5.0 1

100.0

"Funny, fascinating, oddly tender."--O, The Oprah Magazine "A touching tale of love and devotion."--Associated Press "An utterly charming, captivating, intimate portrait of a late 1960s and early 1970s period of intense artistic ferment in downtown Manhattan significantly shaped and keenly observed by rock firebrand Smith."--Philadelphia Inquirer "Just Kids shows how Smith integrated the romance of her twenty-year friendship with Mapplethorpe with her historical preoccupations, elevating them to an almost sacred status. The past, for Smith, has always driven her life forward. If only we could all be so free-spirited."--The Rumpus "A revelation. In a spellbinding memoir as notable for its restraint as for its lucidity, its wit as well as its grace, Smith tells the story of how she and Robert Mapplethorpe found each other... beautifully crafted, vivid, and indelible."--Booklist "JUST KIDS describes [Smith and Mapplethorpe's] ascent with a forthright sweetness that will ring true to anyone who knows her work."--Bloomberg.com "The most compelling memoir by a rock artist since Bob Dylan's 'Chronicles: Volume One, ' written with intimacy and grace...."--Chicago Tribune "A remarkable book --sweet and charming and many other words you wouldn't expect to apply to a punk-rock icon."--Newsday "Patti Smith's memoir of her youth with Robert Mapplethorpe testifies to a rare and ferocious innocence...'Just Kids' is a book utterly lacking in irony or sophisticated cynicism."--Salon.com "The most enchantingly evocative memoir of funky-but-chic New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s that any alumnus has yet committed to print."--Janet Maslin's top 10 books of 2010, New York Times "More than 30 years after its release, Horses still has the power to shock and inspire young musicians to express themselves with unbridled passion. Now she brings the same raw, lyrical quality to her first book of prose."--Clive Davis, Vanity Fair "A spellbinding portrait of bohemian New York in the late 1960s and early '70s."--New York Times Book Review, Paperback Row "A moving portrait of the artist as a young woman, and a vibrant profile of Smith's onetime boyfriend and lifelong muse, Robert Mapplethorpe, who died of AIDS in 1989...JUST KIDS is ultimately a wonderful portal into the dawn of Smith's art."--Los Angeles Times "Patti Smith's telling of the years she spent with Robert Mapplethorpe is full of optimism sprinkled with humor...JUST KIDS...is sorely lacking in irony or cynicism; Smith's worldview is infectious. She's a jumble of influences, but that's part of her charm."--Austin American-Statesman "Terrifically evocative and splendidly titled...the most spellbinding and diverting portrait of funky-but-chic New York in the late '60s and early '70s that any alumnus has committed to print....This enchanting book is a reminder that not all youthful vainglory is silly; sometimes it's preparation."--New York Times Book Review "One of the best things I've ever read in my life."--Don Imus "Smith's beautifully crafted love letter to her friend Robert Mapplethorpe functions as a memento mori of a relationship fueled by passion for art and writing. Her elegant eulogy lays bare the chaos and the creativity so embedded in that earlier time and in Mapplethorpe's life and work."--Publishers Weekly, Top Ten Books of the Year "A shockingly beautiful book...a classic, a romance about becoming an artist in the city, written in a spare, simple style of boyhood memoirs like Frank Conroy's 'Stop Time.'"--New York Magazine "A heartbreakingly sweet recollection of just that sort of vanished Bohemian life...Just as [Smith] stands out as an artiste in a movement based on collectivism, her singular voice gleams among rock memoirs as a work of literature."--Boston Globe "Deeply affecting...a vivid portrayal of a bygone New York that could support a countercultural artistic firmament...the power of this book comes from [Smith's] ability to recall lucid memories in straightforward prose."--BookForum "Remarkable, evocative... JUST KIDS is more than just a gift to [Smith's] ex-lover; it's a gift to everyone who has ever been touched by their art, and to everyone who's ever been in love. Like the best of Smith's music and Mapplethorpe's art, this book is haunting and unforgettable."--NPR Boston "Smith's writing about her early days with Mapplethorpe is fervid and incantatory but never falls into incoherence."--The Oregonian (Portland) "In the end, [JUST KIDS is] not just an ode to Mapplethorpe, but a love letter to New York City's '70s art scene itself."--Time Out New York "Captivating....a poignant requiem...and a radiant celebration of life. Grade: A."--Entertainment Weekly "One of the best books ever written on becoming an artist...Jesus may have died for somebody's sins, but Patti Smith lives and writes and sings for all of us."--Washington Post "[JUST KIDS] is funny and sad but always exhilarating."--Tampa Tribune "To read JUST KIDS is to be struck by how powerfully the two, especially Smith, believed in the power of art....Despite her music's angry clamor, despite his sometimes revolting images, Smith and Mapplethorpe retain, in her telling, a primal, childlike innocence."--Dallas Morning News "Astonishing on many levels, most notably for Smith's lapidary prose....[JUST KIDS] is simply one of the best memoirs to be published in recent years: inspiring, sad, wise and beautifully written."--San Francisco Chronicle "Composed of incandescent sentences more revelatory than anything from Patti Smith's poems or songs, her romantic memoir also reveals what blunt narrative instruments the earlier career bios of her and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe have been."--Village Voice, Best Books of 2010 Round-Up "Sometimes there is justice in the world. That was my first thought when I heard that Patti Smith had won the National Book Award this fall for her glorious memoir, Just Kids."--Maureen Corrigan's favorite books of 2010, NPR's Fresh Air "Reading rocker Smith's account of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, it's hard not to believe in fate. How else to explain the chance encounter that threw them together, allowing both to blossom? Quirky and spellbinding."--People, Top 10 Books of 2010 "Poetically written and vividly remembered. [Smith] reminded me of the idealism of art."--Matthew Weiner, creator of MAD MEN, in New York magazine " A story of art, identity, devotion, discovery, and love, the book is [Smith's] first prose work...[it] conjures up the passionate collaboration--as lovers, friends, soul mates, and creators--that she and Mapplethorpe embarked on from the summer they met in Brooklyn in 1967."--Elle "[JUST KIDS] offers a revealing account of the fears and insecurities harbored by even the most incendiary artists, as well as their capacity for reverence and tenderness."--USA Today "[Just Kids] reminds us that innocence, utopian ideals, beauty and revolt are enlightenment's guiding stars in the human journey. Her book recalls, without blinking or faltering, a collective memory -- one that guides us through the present and into the future."--Michael Stipe, Time magazine "Smith lovingly depicts the denizens of the Chelsea Hotel - is that Janis Joplin at the bar? - and the rock club CBGB, all the while pondering how to be an uncompromising artist who nonetheless needs to pay the rent."--Boston Globe [Just Kids] reminds us that innocence, utopian ideals, beauty and revolt are enlightenment s guiding stars in the human journey. Her book recalls, without blinking or faltering, a collective memory one that guides us through the present and into the future. --Michael Stipe, Time magazine" Reading rocker Smith s account of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, it s hard not to believe in fate. How else to explain the chance encounter that threw them together, allowing both to blossom? Quirky and spellbinding. --People, Top 10 Books of 2010" The most enchantingly evocative memoir of funky-but-chic New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s that any alumnus has yet committed to print. --Janet Maslin's top 10 books of 2010, New York Times" Composed of incandescent sentences more revelatory than anything from Patti Smith s poems or songs, her romantic memoir also reveals what blunt narrative instruments the earlier career bios of her and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe have been. --Village Voice, Best Books of 2010 Round-Up" Smith s beautifully crafted love letter to her friend Robert Mapplethorpe functions as a memento mori of a relationship fueled by passion for art and writing. Her elegant eulogy lays bare the chaos and the creativity so embedded in that earlier time and in Mapplethorpe s life and work. --Publishers Weekly, Top Ten Books of the Year" Poetically written and vividly remembered. [Smith] reminded me of the idealism of art. --Matthew Weiner, creator of MAD MEN, in New York magazine" A spellbinding portrait of bohemian New York in the late 1960s and early 70s. --New York Times Book Review, Paperback Row" One of the best things I ve ever read in my life. --Don Imus" Sometimes there is justice in the world. That was my first thought when I heard that Patti Smith had won the National Book Award this fall for her glorious memoir, Just Kids. --Maureen Corrigan's favorite books of 2010, NPR's Fresh Air" [JUST KIDS] offers a revealing account of the fears and insecurities harbored by even the most incendiary artists, as well as their capacity for reverence and tenderness. --USA Today" Smith s writing about her early days with Mapplethorpe is fervid and incantatory but never falls into incoherence. --The Oregonian (Portland)" A heartbreakingly sweet recollection of just that sort of vanished Bohemian life...Just as [Smith] stands out as an artiste in a movement based on collectivism, her singular voice gleams among rock memoirs as a work of literature. --Boston Globe" Just Kids shows how Smith integrated the romance of her twenty-year friendship with Mapplethorpe with her historical preoccupations, elevating them to an almost sacred status. The past, for Smith, has always driven her life forward. If only we could all be so free-spirited. --The Rumpus" Patti Smith s telling of the years she spent with Robert Mapplethorpe is full of optimism sprinkled with humor...JUST KIDS...is sorely lacking in irony or cynicism; Smith s worldview is infectious. She s a jumble of influences, but that s part of her charm. --Austin American-Statesman" A moving portrait of the artist as a young woman, and a vibrant profile of Smith s onetime boyfriend and lifelong muse, Robert Mapplethorpe, who died of AIDS in 1989...JUST KIDS is ultimately a wonderful portal into the dawn of Smith s art. --Los Angeles Times" A remarkable book --sweet and charming and many other words you wouldn t expect to apply to a punk-rock icon. --Newsday" A story of art, identity, devotion, discovery, and love, the book is [Smith s] first prose work...[it] conjures up the passionate collaboration--as lovers, friends, soul mates, and creators--that she and Mapplethorpe embarked on from the summer they met in Brooklyn in 1967. --Elle" Deeply affecting...a vivid portrayal of a bygone New York that could support a countercultural artistic firmament...the power of this book comes from [Smith s] ability to recall lucid memories in straightforward prose. --BookForum" Funny, fascinating, oddly tender. --O, The Oprah Magazine" Patti Smith s memoir of her youth with Robert Mapplethorpe testifies to a rare and ferocious innocence... Just Kids is a book utterly lacking in irony or sophisticated cynicism. --Salon.com" A shockingly beautiful book...a classic, a romance about becoming an artist in the city, written in a spare, simple style of boyhood memoirs like Frank Conroy s Stop Time. --New York Magazine" [A] beautifully crafted love letter to [Robert Mapplethorpe]...Smith transports readers to what seemed like halcyon days for art and artists in New York...[a] tender and tough memoir...[an] elegant eulogy. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)" Riveting and exquisitely crafted. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)" Captivating....a poignant requiem...and a radiant celebration of life. Grade: A. --Entertainment Weekly" More than 30 years after its release, Horses still has the power to shock and inspire young musicians to express themselves with unbridled passion. Now she brings the same raw, lyrical quality to her first book of prose. --Clive Davis, Vanity Fair" In the end, [JUST KIDS is] not just an ode to Mapplethorpe, but a love letter to New York City s 70s art scene itself. --Time Out New York" The most compelling memoir by a rock artist since Bob Dylan s Chronicles: Volume One, written with intimacy and grace.... --Chicago Tribune" Astonishing on many levels, most notably for Smith s lapidary prose....[JUST KIDS] is simply one of the best memoirs to be published in recent years: inspiring, sad, wise and beautifully written. --San Francisco Chronicle" [JUST KIDS] is funny and sad but always exhilarating. --Tampa Tribune" Terrifically evocative and splendidly titled...the most spellbinding and diverting portrait of funky-but-chic New York in the late 60s and early 70s that any alumnus has committed to print....This enchanting book is a reminder that not all youthful vainglory is silly; sometimes it s preparation. --New York Times Book Review" A touching tale of love and devotion. --Associated Press" JUST KIDS describes [Smith and Mapplethorpe s] ascent with a forthright sweetness that will ring true to anyone who knows her work. --Bloomberg.com" To read JUST KIDS is to be struck by how powerfully the two, especially Smith, believed in the power of art....Despite her music s angry clamor, despite his sometimes revolting images, Smith and Mapplethorpe retain, in her telling, a primal, childlike innocence. --Dallas Morning News" One of the best books ever written on becoming an artist...Jesus may have died for somebody s sins, but Patti Smith lives and writes and sings for all of us. --Washington Post" Remarkable, evocative... JUST KIDS is more than just a gift to [Smith s] ex-lover; it s a gift to everyone who has ever been touched by their art, and to everyone who s ever been in love. Like the best of Smith s music and Mapplethorpe s art, this book is haunting and unforgettable. --NPR Boston" A revelation. In a spellbinding memoir as notable for its restraint as for its lucidity, its wit as well as its grace, Smith tells the story of how she and Robert Mapplethorpe found each other... beautifully crafted, vivid, and indelible. --Booklist" An utterly charming, captivating, intimate portrait of a late 1960s and early 1970s period of intense artistic ferment in downtown Manhattan significantly shaped and keenly observed by rock firebrand Smith. --Philadelphia Inquirer" Smith lovingly depicts the denizens of the Chelsea Hotel - is that Janis Joplin at the bar? - and the rock club CBGB, all the while pondering how to be an uncompromising artist who nonetheless needs to pay the rent. --Boston Globe" "Riveting and exquisitely crafted."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "[A] beautifully crafted love letter to [Robert Mapplethorpe]...Smith transports readers to what seemed like halcyon days for art and artists in New York...[a] tender and tough memoir...[an] elegant eulogy."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From “Hotel Chelsea” in Just Kids by Patti Smith

I’m in Mike Hammer mode, puffing on Kools reading cheap detective novels sitting in the lobby waiting for William Burroughs. He comes in dressed to the nines in a dark gabardine overcoat, gray suit, and tie. I sit for a few hours at my post scribbling poems. He comes stumbling out of the El Quixote a bit drunk and disheveled. I straighten his tie and hail him a cab. It’s our unspoken routine.

In between I clock the action. Eyeing the traffic circulating the lobby hung with bad art. Big invasive stuff unloaded on Stanley Bard in exchange for rent. The hotel is an energetic, desperate haven for scores of gifted hustling children from every rung of the ladder. Guitar bums and stoned-out beauties in Victorian dresses. Junkie poets, playwrights, broke-down filmmakers, and French actors. Everybody passing through here is somebody, if nobody in the outside world.

The elevator is slowgoing. I get off at the seventh floor to see if Harry Smith is around. I place my hand on the doorknob, sensing nothing but silence. The yellow walls have an institutional feel like a middle school prison. I use the stairs and return to our room. I take a piss in the hall bathroom we share with unknown inmates. I unlock our door. No sign of Robert save a note on the mirror. Went to big 42nd street. Love you. Blue. I see he straightened his stuff. Men’s magazines neatly piled. The chicken wire rolled and tied and the spray cans lined in a row under the sink.

I fire up the hot plate. Get some water from the tap. You got to let it run for a while as it comes out brown. It’s just minerals and rust, so Harry says. My stuff is in the bottom drawer. Tarot cards, silk ribbons, a jar of Nescafé, and my own cup—a childhood relic with the likeness of Uncle Wiggly, rabbit gentleman. I drag my Remington from under the bed, adjust the ribbon, and insert a fresh sheet of foolscap. There’s a lot to report.

From “Hotel Chelsea” in Just Kids by Patti Smith

ISBN: 9780060936228
ISBN-10: 0060936223
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 2nd November 2010
Publisher: ECCO PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.32 x 13.97  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.36