Punk poet laureate Patti Smith announced that her second memoir, M Train, is finished and will be released on October 6. The book is a follow-up to Smith’s highly acclaimed Just Kids, which won a National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2010.
While Just Kids documented her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe while both were struggling, young artists in New York City, M Train promises to cover a wider range of Smith’s life and experiences as a beloved and influential singer/songwriter, poet and artist. In the book, Smith writes about 18 different “stations,” or turning points in her life, including the death of her husband, MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, in 1994.
More than a straightforward, past-tense recollection of former years, the work, which will contain a series of Smith’s own black and white Polaroids, takes on a larger, harder to define project of diving into memory and creativity. In 2011, when Smith announced that she was beginning work on a second memoir, she told Rolling Stone, “I wanted to write a contemporary book or just write whatever I felt like writing about, and it’s things going from literature to coffee to memories of Fred in Michigan. It’s whatever I felt. I hopped on a train and kept going.”