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Books  >>  Music

Patti Smith

Just Kids

Patti Smith Just Kids
$11.20 New
$5.97 Pre-owned
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Main description:

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.

Review quote:

“[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.”

Review quote:

“[JUST KIDS] is funny and sad but always exhilarating.”

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“[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.”

Review quote:

“[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.”

Review quote:

“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.”

Review quote:

“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.”

Review quote:

“A remarkable book --sweet and charming and many other words you wouldn’t expect to apply to a punk-rock icon.”

Review quote:

“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.”

Review quote:

“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.’”

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“A spellbinding portrait of bohemian New York in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.”

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“A touching tale of love and devotion.”

Review quote:

“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.”

Review quote:

“Astonishing on many

In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies.  An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work—from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.


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