REACH: Worldwide icon; award-winning and acclaimed author with a huge social media presence: nearly 350,000 followers on Instagram, 430,000 on Facebook. Year of the Monkey will be published in the UK by Bloomsbury shortly after its release in Canada and the U.S., and in seven other foreign territories (Norway, Italy, Sweden, France, Germany, India, Spain) so far. Smith’s work is published worldwide; more territories to come.
OF THE MOMENT: The book paints hope amid the rifts and disillusionment of today’s political landscape.
SUBJECT MATTER: Making art, aging, writing, her friendship with other significant personalities/writers/musicians
SETTINGS: The book takes us from a boardwalk on the West Coast to the American southwest, the Australian desert, New York City; and to cafés/coffee shops everywhere.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“It was a year of disruption, wandering, dreams and surreal visions: this year of the monkey on the Chinese zodiac was also the year Smith turned 70, and a trickster election hurled the country into a dark looking-glass realm. Smith writes with fresh lucidity, wit, bittersweet wonder, and stoic sorrow, shifting in tone from lyrical to hallucinatory to hard-boiled as she describes her meditative and investigative meanderings along the Pacific coast and in the desert. Keenly sensitive to atmosphere, she finds herself ‘in the middle of the unexplained’ as she travels with cosmic spontaneity and ‘an almost religious simplicity’…She remembers her life-saving childhood library and a cherished, then dying friend. Smith also chronicles with exquisite poignancy her last visits with her soul mate Sam Shepherd…Elegiac, vital, and magical.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
“Luminous…Smith wanders between waking and dreaming in a year filled with the death of a close friend and the political turmoil of the 2016 election…In light of her seventieth birthday, she writes lyrically on various subjects: she describes Allen Ginsberg’s poetry, which she carries along her travels, as an ‘expansive hydrogen bomb;’ caught up in Belinda Carlisle’s infectious beat, she imagines a ‘nonviolent hubris spreading across the land.’ She discovers that her most meaningful insights come from her vivid dreams, and she feels a palpable melancholia over having to wake up from them. Smith casts a mesmerizing spell with exquisite prose.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Captivating…a chronicle of a year filled with deep losses and rich epiphanies. The titular year, 2016, set Smith, [who] refers to herself as the ‘poet detective,’ on a quixotic quest, with a mysterious companion unexpectedly reappearing amid a backdrop of rock touring, vagabond traveling, and a poisonous political landscape. Throughout, Smith ponders time and mortality—no surprise considering her milestone birthday, and the experience of losing friends who have meant so much to her. She stresses the importance of memory, and the timeless nature of a person’s spirit…Redemptive.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The warmth and curiosity with which Patti Smith observes her own life makes her one of the finest living companions to living…. [T]his diary of change and destruction is at once a solace and a charge to double down on love.” —Literary Hub
“Intriguing, disturbing yet humorous, with the boundary between fiction and nonfiction blurred, Smith’s work is unlikely to disappoint.” —The Millions
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