M Train

M Train

3.94 (19,456 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village cafe where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer's society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York's Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud and Mishima.

Woven throughout are reflections on the writer's craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith's life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith. Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable artists at work today.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 135 x 205 x 35mm | 433g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1408867680
  • 9781408867686
  • 26,619

Review quote

This book is so honest and pure as to count as a true rapture * Joan Didion * Patti Smith has graced us with a poetic masterpiece, a rare and privileged invitation to unlatch a treasure chest never before breached * Johnny Depp * A tender, harrowing, often hilarious portrait of young lovers forging their paths in an eccentric milieu of Beat poets, Warhol socialites, and transvestites, rock stars and artists * Vogue * The most beautiful, incredible autobiography - it will make you ache for a time and a place that you probably never knew, New York in the 1970s * Nick Hornby * She was once our savage Rimbaud, but suffering has turned her into our St John of the Cross, a mystic full of compassion * Edmund White * I didn't know how she could possibly match her first memoir, Just Kids, but she has. It's a marvellous book - funny and tender and, at times, desperately sad ... she even manages to make grief beautiful -- Bella Freud * Porter * As a portrait of a thrifty poetic temperament, this book is sublime. Patti Smith can still make sitting alone on her stoop on New Year's Eve, watching the drunken revellers, seem like the coolest thing in the world - certainly better than being one of them -- Suzi Feay * Financial Times * In M Train, her new memoir, readers will get a feel for her simple, often ascetic life. In it, Smith walks the streets of New York, drinks coffee (lots of coffee), reflects and writes ... This book is even better (than Just Kids): more meditative, more bound to her authentic life rather than another's story -- Erica Wagner * Harper's Bazaar * Another beautifully written installment in a well-traveled life * GQ * M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village cafe where Smith goes every morning to write, but from there takes you to every corner of her mind * Observer * Beautiful * Irish Times * Extraordinary * Woman & Home * Superb * Daily Telegraph * A blend of memoir and diary that forms a stroll through her familial and poetical past ... Within Smith's peripatetic, creative life are reassuring moments of ordinariness * Radio Times * Touching, funny, emotional and highly atmospheric, starting in Cafe `Ino, in Greenwich Village, it's a travelogue of her life and a ruminating odyssey * Big Issue * She writes brilliantly, she loves unconditionally, everything is meaningful ... An extraordinary book about creation and what happens in the spaces between making art: the sheer loneliness of it ... She believes absolutely in the power of art. The price she has paid to become a serious artist is hers and no one else's. She is transformed by art as she transforms it. This, she knows, is the real deal. Because she lives it -- Suzanne Moore * New Statesman * A digressive, dream-like compendium of obsessions and preoccupations: artists, writers, cafes, travel, black coffee and brown bread and, most endearingly, British detective shows * Mojo * She reflects candidly on the landscapes of her bumpy life ... From Michigan to Mexico, inhabited by her heroes, from poets to Arctic explorers * Saga * Difficult second memoir syndrome, perhaps: but Smith conquers it in style, delivering reminiscences about writing, reading and married life with Fred "Sonic" Smith -- Ludovic Hunter-Tilney * Financial Times * For Christmas I've asked for M Train, the new memoir by Patti Smith - she's always been a heroine and her voice is just as original as her prose as in her songs -- Stephanie Merritt * Observer * This was the year... "Punk's poet laureate" rocked the world with more of her rebel spirit and lyricism, publishing M Train * Porter Magazine * Patti Smith's M Train is more novelistic and lyrical ... complete with a collection of pre-Instagram, personal black and white arty shots. She calls it "a roadmap to my life". It's classy, elegant and addictive -- Viv Groskop * Observer * Patti Smith's M Train is all about quietness and solitude, warmly documenting a largely uneventful period in her life in which she gives talks, tends to her cats, and generally goes about her business * The Times Books of the Year * Patti Smith's second slice of memoir after Just Kids is just as engaging. M Train, a book about nothing and everything, as our minstrel-poet travels the world in search of muses, coffee and Scandinavian noir. It reads like a dream, and you'll long for a freewheeling life like hers -- Simon Garfield * Big Issue Books of the Year * The autobiographical M Train is a lyrical look at a woman who accepts the world's melancholy and magic, and is determined to find inspiration everywhere * Psychologies *
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About Patti Smith

Patti Smith is a writer, performer and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary merging of poetry and rock. She has released twelve albums, including Horses, which has been hailed as one of the top one hundred albums of all time by Rolling Stone. 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, 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 honour given to an artist by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Smith married Fred Sonic Smith in Detroit in 1980. They had a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Jesse. Smith resides in New York City.
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Rating details

19,456 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 37% (7,109)
4 35% (6,769)
3 19% (3,660)
2 6% (1,153)
1 4% (765)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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