A&C Black, Jan 4, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
This book presents a portrait of two young artist's ascent - Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, 'Just Kids' begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It intends to serve as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions.
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Really beautiful, understated, and poetically written biography of Patti Smith, focusing on her memories of Robert Mapplethorpe. Instead of choosing to write about her rise to fame, it serves as a backdrop to very salient moments in her life. I read a professional review that suggested she started threads and then never picked them back up, would write about a necklace for paragraphs but barely spend more than a few lines on famous people she met along the way. For me, her writing, storytelling ability, was an art itself. It allowed me to picture myself in the Chelsea with her and Robert, living along side them as they figured out their environment.
People who follow their parents' well trodden path, while transitioning from "just kids" to adults, as they navigate the world, have a blueprint to guide their way. They simply do what was modeled for them, while modifying a few things here and there. But people like Patti and Robert had to transition from 'just kids" to adults making their own path. This is the story of how they met countless novel circumstances in the world of art, poetry, rock and roll, poverty, the punk scene, the drug scene, and so on. They held onto each other as they found ways of navigating such an incredible and unusual existence.