From the National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids: an unforgettable
odyssey into the mind of this legendary artist, told through the prism of
cafés and haunts she has visited and worked in around the world. M Train is
a journey through eighteen stations. It begins in the tiny Greenwich
Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on
the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. We
then travel, through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality,
past and present, across a landscape of creative aspirations and
inspirations: from Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico, to a meeting of an
Arctic explorer's society in Berlin; from the ramshackle seaside bungalow
in New York's Far Rockaway that Smith buys just before Hurricane Sandy
hits, to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima. Woven throughout
are reflections on the writer's craft and on artistic creation, alongside
signature memories including her life in Michigan with her husband,
guitarist Fred Sonic Smith, whose untimely death was an irremediable loss.
For it is loss, as well as the consolation we might salvage from it, that
lies at the heart of this exquisitely told memoir, one augmented by
stunning black-and-white Polaroids taken by Smith herself. M Train is a
meditation on endings and on beginnings: a poetic tour de force by one of
the most brilliant multiplatform artists at work today.

Patti Smith—M Train

  • 9781101875100