Year of the Monkey
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Year of the Monkey

3.65 (41 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From the National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids and M Train, a profound, beautifully realized memoir in which dreams and reality are vividly woven into a tapestry of one transformative year.

Following a run of New Year's concerts at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland, with no design yet heeding signs, including a talking sign that looms above her, prodding and sparring like the Cheshire Cat. In February, a surreal lunar year begins, bringing with it unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow. In a stranger's words, "Anything is possible: after all, it's the year of the monkey." For Patti Smith - inveterately curious, always exploring, tracking thoughts, writing the year evolves as one of reckoning with the changes in life's gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America.

Smith melds the Western landscape with her own dreamscape. Taking us from Southern California to the Arizona desert; to a Kentucky farm as the amanuensis of a friend in crisis; to the hospital room of a valued mentor; and by turns to remembered and imagined places - this haunting memoir blends fact and fiction with poetic mastery. The unexpected happens; grief and disillusionment. But as Patti Smith heads toward a new decade in her own life, she offers this balm to the reader: her wisdom, wit, gimlet eye, and above all, a rugged hope of a better world.

Riveting, elegant, often humorous, illustrated by Smith's signature Polaroids, Year of the Monkey is a moving and original work, a touchstone for our turbulent times.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 130 x 198mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1526614758
  • 9781526614759
  • 363

Review quote

Praise for Patti Smith: `Beautiful, incredible - it will make you ache for a time and a place that you probably never knew -- Nick Hornby This book is so honest and pure as to count as a true rapture -- Joan Didion A sharp, elegiac and finely crafted tribute, set against the thrilling back drop of New York's countercultural blast * Sunday Times * Terrifically evocative ... Spellbinding and diverting * New York Times * Tender, harrowing, often hilarious * Vogue * 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
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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

41 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 29% (12)
4 29% (12)
3 27% (11)
2 7% (3)
1 7% (3)
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