PATTI SMITH – ” M-Train ” Book

Posted: December 11, 2015 in MUSIC
Tags: ,

Patti Smith is many things. Punk-rock icon. Poet. National Book Award winner for her book “Just Kids.”

And in her new memoir “M Train,” Smith reveals another side: Coffee lover. “I could drink 14 cups without compromising my sleep,” she writes. In this exclusive selection from the audiobook, Smith narrates a section about the time she traveled to Mexico when she was 21, wanting to write a book called “Java Head.”

“William Burroughs told me that the best coffee in the world was grown in the mountains surrounding Veracruz,” she reads. “And I was determined to find it.”

Multiple bus trips and train rides later, she found herself in the Mexican city. She located a “real” coffee dealer in an unmarked building, where she posed as a journalist for “Coffee Trader Magazine,” and spent hours there immersing herself in the scene. “It was February 14th and I was about to give my heart to a perfect cup of coffee.”

“M Train” is out now by Penguin Random House.

M Train 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. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer’s society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud and Mishima.

Woven throughout are reflections on the writer’s craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith’s life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith. Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable artists at work today.

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