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M Train
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About the Author

PATTI SMITHis 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, "W tt," "Babel," "Woolgathering," "The Coral Sea," and"Auguries of Innocence. " In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor given to an artist by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Smith married the musician Fred Sonic Smith in Detroit in 1980. They had a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Jesse. Smith resides in New York City."

Reviews

Exciting . . . Unvarnished and intimate, tender and frank as a musician, artist, and writer Smith presents a singular self in "M Train "[and] invites us to ride along with her over the course of a year. As she ventures to the places the mind goes when one is alone dashing back to the past and then to the kitchen to feed the cat and travels the world to commune with artists long gone, we re reminded how lucky we are that she s still here, and still working. Marnie Hanel, "W Magazine" Unexpected and extraordinary . . . Enchanting and enchanted . . . The book feels like a poetic letter directly from the brain of your smartest, oddest, bravest friend, the one who has ventured so much further than most of us dare to. Whether chronicling her obsessions or her journey through grief, a survivor s grace permeates this heartbreaking memoir/meditation/artist s notebook. "M Train "loops and swirls through dreams, memories, images, journeys, and acts of mourning. Like a modern Antigone, Smith attempts to honor her many dead her husband, Fred; Jean Genet; her brother; Frida Kahlo; the writer Osamu Dazai; her parents. Her life in the present is also riddled with losses. In her travels she loses photos, books, a beloved coat, a camera . . . One wouldn t necessarily know from reading "M Train "that it was written by a rock icon; we see little of Smith s public life. Instead, she opens her extraordinary heart and soul to us, holding nothing back and never permitting vanity to intrude. It s a gift, this record of beloved absences, to which one can only respond: thank you. Stacey D Erasmo, "O, The Oprah Magazine" "" A collage of a singularly creative life. In "M Train, "Smith writes about New York, her love of cafes, her favorite books and television shows, her cats, [and] her memories, joyful and melancholy, of her husband. But it is her travels idiosyncratic, ritualistic, vividly recalled that provide a unifying theme. She travels with purpose, with passion. Going backward and forward in time, she describes trips to Mexico, France, Morocco, Japan and other places, often looking for signs that will reveal her next trip. As for the inconvenient aspects of travel canceled flights, lost luggage, jet lag they are, in their own ways, opportunities. After all, a late plane might be a sign to catch a flight to another destination. And the thick torpor of jet lag is often coupled with a surprisingly internal luminosity. Suzanne MacNeille, "The New York Times, " Armchair Traveler "" The bestselling author[ s] second memoir dives into her literary and everyday obsessions, and chronicles her travels, adding in Polaroids she snapped of graves and artifacts connected to artists who have inspired her. "The Wall Street Journal, " What to Read This Fall Smith explores her life through visits to the places she loves: 18 stations, including Greenwich Village cafes, train stations, Frida Kahlo s abode, and her own bungalow on Far Rockaway. Smith, who won the National Book Award for "Just Kids, "writes here about the loss of her husband and her struggles as a writer. Laurie Hertzel, " "Minneapolis "Star Tribune" * Following Smith s critically acclaimed "Just Kids, M Train" creates a map of the singer-songwriter s peripatetic journeys to cafes, cemeteries, hotels, and train stations around the world. She is the perfect guide, revealing the mysteries in the shadows, the little bits of life people often take for granted such as a good cup of coffee, a familiar coat, or the transformation of the heart. Her haunting and joyful recollections of life with her late husband, Fred Sonic Smith, anchor her intensely physical descent into memory and its ability to haunt her waking and dreaming life. The narrative carries readers through the despair, loss, hope, consolation, and mysteries that Smith faces as she lives through Fred s death, struggles with the writer s craft, and comes to realize, through one of her dreams, that the writer is a conductor and she is indeed a phenomenal conductor along these elegant tours of the haunting places in her life, where anyone might stumble upon momentary but life-altering wisdom. "Publishers Weekly "(starred review) Iconic poet, writer, and artist Smith articulates the pensive rhythm of her life through the stations of her travels. In a Greenwich Village cafe sipping coffee, jotting quixotic notes in journals, and plotting my next move, the author reflects on the places she s visited, and the impact each played on her past and present selves. She describes a chance meeting with guitarist Fred Sonic Smith, who swiftly stole and sealed her heart with marriage and children. A graceful, ruminative tour guide, Smith writes of travelling with Fred, armed with a vintage 1967 Polaroid, to French Guiana, then of solitary journeys to Frida Kahlo s Casa Azul, and to the graves of Sylvia Plath, Jean Genet, and a swath of legendary Japanese filmmakers. After being seduced by Rockaway Beach and purchasing a ramshackle bungalow there, the property was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy though she vowed to rebuild. The author synchronizes past memories and contemporary musings on books, art, and life with Fred . . . No matter the distance life may take her, Smith always recovers some semblance of normalcy with the simple pleasures of a deli coffee on her stoop, her mind constantly buoyed by humanity, art, and memory . . . An atmospheric, moody, and bittersweet memoir, to be savored and pondered. "Kirkus""

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