Patti Smith just won the National Book Award for her memoir, Just Kids. That’s big news around here. I’ve been listening to her records for decades, ever since Horses baffled, intrigued, and captivated me a few weeks after its release, and her recent live recording of The Coral Sea was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever heard. Maybe Just Kids will get the kind of retrospective fact-checking and deflation that Bob Dylan’s Chronicles received, but it’s a terrific record of an artist making her way in the world, assembling the pieces of her identity, and deciding just what it is she’s really good at.
The ‘Horses’ she rode in on