By November 20, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

National Book Award Winner: Just Kids

I am so excited that Patti Smith’s Just Kids won the National Book Award. For one, it will get the recognition and the readership that it deserves.

It can be hard to tell people who only see Patti Smith as a rock musician to take her seriously as writer as well. But Just Kids is nothing short of extraordinary. Smith captures a time and a place and herself with such authenticity, with such unapologetic artistry. New York is so alive and grungy and anything but romanticized; and yet Smith’s portrayal of New York during her tumultuous youth feels romantic and nostalgic because her portrayal is so charged with the emotion, passion and, ultimately, loss.

In her acceptance speech, Smith spoke of her years as a bookseller where she dreamed of winning jst such an award. But what, of course, won me over was that in her moment in the spotlight she chose to shine the light on books:

“Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.”

Thank you, Patti Smith, for rocking my world, both personally and professionally.

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

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