M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer's society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York's Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud and Mishima. Woven throughout are reflections on the writer's craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith's life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith. Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable artists at work today.
From the National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids: an unforgettable odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of cafes and haunts she has worked in around the world. It is a book Patti Smith has described as 'a roadmap to my life'.
This book is so honest and pure as to count as a true rapture Joan Didion Patti Smith has graced us with a poetic masterpiece, a rare and privileged invitation to unlatch a treasure chest never before breached Johnny Depp 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 Vogue The most beautiful, incredible autobiography - it will make you ache for a time and a place that you probably never knew, New York in the 1970s Nick Hornby She was once our savage Rimbaud, but suffering has turned her into our St John of the Cross, a mystic full of compassion Edmund White