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Saturday, 10 October 2015

New and Notable: M Train by Patti Smith

Following up her bestselling memoir Just Kids, Patti Smith has just come out with a new memoir of life since growing up as an artist in 1960s-70s New York. It's called M Train and it's a seductive trip into the nomadic cosmopolitan wanderings of the aging artist.

The prison of Jean Genet Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni in French Guiana
Whereas Just Kids was centered around the friendship and loss of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, M Train is driven by life with her late husband Fred "Sonic" Smith and since his death in 1994. The years since have been a series of pilgrimages and travels around the world to visit traces of artists and graves long past. She documents her stops religiously with a vintage Polaroid camera, some images of which grace the pages of the book.

Inside Frida Khalo's home, Casa Azul, in Coyoacán, Mexico
As a poet, Patti Smith sweeps us through her world, a world that is both recognizable and strange. She drinks coffee and watches popular detective shows, but she also visits Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera's Casa Azul in Mexico, travels to Reykavík and Berlin as a member of a secretive society devoted to a lost Arctic explorer, and attends a conference is Tangier of "the gone Beats' orphaned children."

Patti Smith earnestly lives the poetry that she writes about. Take a peak into her world.

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