Just KidsBook | Patti Smith By Paul Parreira
A brilliant memoir about two kids and one ambition.
There is an innocent optimism running through Just Kids, Patti Smith's memoir of her early years in New York City with artist, lover and soulmate Robert Mapplethorpe. The book focuses primarily on their relationship between 1967 to 1975, as the young artists take a fascinating, enlightening journey from South Jersey to the South of France, where Smith's obsession with French literature (particularly Genet, Verlaine and Rimbaud) fires her prodigious development as a writer. But it's her fascination with popular culture, music and New York City that shapes her as a performer: Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and the Stones offer Smith an artistic totality that overshadows her love of painting, sculpture and even poetry, inspiring the rock 'n' roll poet persona that will ultimately be her legacy. There is rarely a doubt that Smith and Mapplethorpe will succeed in their ambition to make it, both critically and commercially, but that success is sealed in an unspoken fate that draws them closer yet further apart. Although Just Kids is the story of many love affairs, both human and ethereal, art remains the constant romance in both of their lives.