f you’re looking for a good present for a friend—or for yourself!—McNally Jackson on Prince Street is taking online orders for signed copies of (SoHo local) Patti Smith’s well-reviewed memoir Year of the Monkey, first released in hardcover in 2019 and now recently available in paperback.
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.
Listen to a sample of Smith reading Year of the Monkey
While you can choose either Priority Mail or to pickup in store, you can’t choose exactly when the books are sent as they’re subject to availability, e.g. whenever Smith comes into the shop and signs them. Still, a good deal at $16 for a signed paperback!