Just Kids (Limited Edition)

Overview

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, ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Newsday
“A remarkable book --sweet and charming and many other words you wouldn’t expect to apply to a punk-rock icon.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Captivating....a poignant requiem...and a radiant celebration of life. Grade: A.”
Dallas Morning News
“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.”
Associated Press
“A touching tale of love and devotion.”
Chicago Tribune
“The most compelling memoir by a rock artist since Bob Dylan’s ‘Chronicles: Volume One,’ written with intimacy and grace....”
Washington Post
“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.”
Los Angeles Times
“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.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“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.”
USA Today
“[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.”
Booklist
“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.”
Time Out New York
“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.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“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.”
Elle
” 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.”
Boston Globe
“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.”
New York Times Book Review
“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 Magazine
“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.’”
Tampa Tribune
“[JUST KIDS] is funny and sad but always exhilarating.”
Salon.com
“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.”
BookForum
“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.”
Austin American-Statesman
“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.”
Bloomberg.com
“JUST KIDS describes [Smith and Mapplethorpe’s] ascent with a forthright sweetness that will ring true to anyone who knows her work.”
The Rumpus
“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 Oregonian (Portland)
“Smith’s writing about her early days with Mapplethorpe is fervid and incantatory but never falls into incoherence.”
NPR Boston
“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.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062014955
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Edition description: Limited Edition
  • Pages: 279
  • Sales rank: 1,417,597
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Patti Smith

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. 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.

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