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September 7 2019
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Sam Shepard and Patti Smith at the Chelsea Hotel, in New York City.

Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith

When Graydon asked me—Patty Smyth—to review the new book by Patti Smith, I knew the time had finally come for this reckoning. I knew we must meet on the printed page, me and the person I’m constantly mistaken for, whose mail I’ve been receiving since I was 17 and living in the East Village. In the late 70s only our mail crossed paths—we never met in person. I was not part of the punk-art scene, although I did have a brief marriage to one of its godfathers.

Patti’s new book, Year of the Monkey, is about her 69th year, a journey that speaks to many of us—those with more years behind us than in front. She walks a lot through old and new haunts, reflecting on her relationships and trying to navigate this terrain of wisdom and loss that is called life as we get older.

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