Year of the Monkey

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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).

Format/pages: paperback / 224 pages

ISBN: 9781984898920

Publisher: Vintage

Year: 2020



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