Riveting, elegant, humorous--and illustrated by Smith's signature Polaroids--New York Times bestseller Year of the Monkey is a moving and original work, a touchstone for our turbulent times.
"A picaresque voyage through Patti Smith's dreams and life, blending fiction and reality, conjured characters and actual ones"--The New York Times
Following a run of new year's concerts at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland, in which she debates intellectual grifters and spars with the likes of a postmodern Cheshire Cat. Then, in February 2016, a surreal lunar year begins, bringing unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow.
For Smith--inveterately curious, always exploring, always writing--this becomes a year of reckoning with the changes in life's gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America. Taking us from California to the Arizona desert, from a Kentucky farm to the hospital room of a valued mentor, Smith melds the western landscape with her own dreamscape in a haunting, poetic blend of fact and fiction. As a stranger tells her, "Anything is possible. After all, it's the Year of the Monkey." But as Smith heads toward a new decade in her own life, she offers this balm to the reader: her wisdom, wit, gimlet eye, and above all, a rugged hope for a better world.
Named one of NPR's Best Books of the Year--now including a new chapter, Epilogue of an Epilogue, and ten new photos--Year of the Monkey "reminds us that despair and possibility often spring from the same source" (Los Angeles Times).
PATTI SMITH is the author of Just Kids, which won the National Book Award in 2010, and of M Train, as well as numerous collections of poetry and essays. Her seminal album Horses has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time. In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres; she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.