Woolgathering Biography
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Product Description

This small, intimate and luminous memoir revisits the most sacred experiences of writer, performer, and visual artist Patti Smith’s early years – with truths so vivid they border on the insurreal. The author entwines her childhood self – and its “clear, unspeakable joy” – with memories both real and envisioned from her twenties on New York City’s MacDougal Street, the street of noir cafes. Completed in Michigan, on Smith’s 45th birthday and originally published in a slim volume from Raymond Foye’s Hanuman Books, twenty years later, New Directions proudly presents this much-augmented ‘magnetic field’, featuring writing that was omitted from the book’s first printing, along with new photographs and illustrations. List of illustrations. 80p.

Editorial Reviews

";;;The writing of it drew me from my strange torpor and I hope that in some measure it will fill the reader with a vague and curious joy.";;; Poet, artist, and musician Smith, winner of the National Book Award for Just Kids, provides a new introduction for this childhood memoir (first published in 1992), describing how the book developed from a period of intense depression. Smith's concise, lyrical essays invite the reader to dwell on the text. In ";;;Barndance,";;; she describes how children grow to recognize the dichotomy between physical similarities to their families and cognitive differences. Several essays discuss her artistic goals, and in ";;;Two Worlds,";;; she writes about her dream of becoming a painter. Belonging is a frequent theme, and in ";;;Millet,";;; she writes about her connection, and lack thereof, with her grandmothers and mother. Half beautiful language and metaphors, half raw emotion, this book (which includes a handful of personal photos) will inspire and influence a new generation of logophiles as they read and reread this absorbing, meditative work. (Nov.)

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