Beyond ‘Just Kids’: A Pocket Guide to Patti Smith’s Non-Fiction



New York Times readers this morning might have noted with interest the byline on the paper’s review of Haruki Murakami’s new book — the piece was written by none other than Patti Smith. Still, this is perhaps not as surprising as it might first appear, because Smith hasn’t been averse to issuing an opinion over the years, and she’s written non-fiction throughout her career — most notably in the 1970s, when she contributed regularly to Creem, the 1970s’ answer to Tiny Mix Tapes. Her style is something of an acquired taste — the verbose, breathless literacy of her poetry and lyrics doesn’t work quite as well when it’s talking about why a Todd Rundgren record is “blasphemy even the gods smile on.” Still, her writings have covered a fascinating range of subject matter. If you’re interested in delving further into her criticism, there’s an essential reading list awaiting you after the…

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