A prelude to fame, Just Kids recounts the friendship of two young artists--Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe - whose passion fueled their lifelong pursuit of art. In 1967, a chance meeting between two young people led to a romance and a lifelong friendship that would carry each to international success never dreamed of. The backdrop is Brooklyn, Chelsea Hotel, Max's Kansas City, Scribner's Bookstore, Coney Island, Warhol's Factory and the whole city resplendent. Among their friends, literary lights, musicians and artists such as Harry Smith, Bobby Neuwirth, Allen Ginsberg, Sandy Daley, Sam Shepherd, William Burroughs, etc. It was a heightened time politically and culturally; the art and music worlds exploding and colliding. In the midst of all this two kids made a pact to always care for one another. Scrappy, romantic, committed to making art, they prodded and provided each other with faith and confidence during the hungry years--the days of cous-cous and lettuce soup. Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. Beautifully written, this is a profound portrait of two young artists, often hungry, sated only by art and experience. And an unforgettable portrait of New York, her rich and poor, hustlers and hellions, those who made it and those whose memory lingers near.
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
'A sharp, elegiac and finely crafted tribute to their childlike, pre-fame romance, set against the thrilling back drop of New York's countercultural blast' Sunday Times 'Terrifically evocative ... The most spellbinding and diverting portrait of funky-but-chic New York in the late '60s and '70s that any alumnus has committed to print' New York Times '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 ... Much has been written about that time, but Just Kids offers new insight' Vogue 'A touching tribute to their love as well as an incisive account of being young, ambitious and artistic in Seventies New York ... this is a heartfelt, illuminating book' Daily Telegraph
Patti Smith is a writer, artist and performer. She has recorded ten albums and written five books, and her artwork has been exhibited worldwide. In 2005 she received the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest grade awarded by the French Republic to eminent artists and writers who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts throughout the world. She lives in New York City.