“Thanks to Libro.fm I just spent six hours with Patti Smith in my car. There is no better balm for getting unstuck than to listen to someone clearly enlivened by aging, loss, death and elections. Admittedly, Patti's global walkabout In The Year of the Monkey, a memoir of her life approaching the age of 70, often blurs dream and reality - and I've not worked out the meaning of the candy wrappers yet - but still. This book has got soul, and I've listened to it twice. Aside from learning that she likes beans and eggs for breakfast, Patti writes with a raw and compelling lucidity about being, writing, gratitude and truth. Listen to it twice.”
Nancy, Northshire Bookstore
Riveting, elegant, and humorous, New York Times bestseller Year of the Monkey is a moving and original work, a touchstone for our turbulent 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"—Year of the Monkey “reminds us that despair and possibility often spring from the same source” (Los Angeles Times).