Just Kids

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Just Kids
Book cover
AuthorPatti Smith
CountryUnited States
SubjectRelationship with Robert Mapplethorpe
Publication date
January 19, 2010
LC Class1

Just Kids is a memoir by Patti Smith, published on January 19, 2010, documenting her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe.[1]

"I didn't write it to be cathartic," she noted. "I wrote it because Robert asked me to… Our relationship was such that I knew what he would want and the quality of what he deserved. So that was my agenda for writing that book. I wrote it to fulfill my vow to him, which was on his deathbed. In finishing, I did feel that I'd fulfilled my promise."[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Just Kids won the 2010 National Book Award for Nonfiction.[3] It was Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books (2010), ALA Notable Book (2011), Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist (Current Interest, 2010), New York Times bestseller (Nonfiction, 2010), and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist (Autobiography/Memoir, 2010).

Just Kids was featured on the January 19, 2010, episode of Fresh Air, with Smith being interviewed by Terry Gross.[4] Just Kids was also featured on KQED's Forum with Michael Krasny on January 28, 2010, and KCRW's Bookworm with host Michael Silverblatt in March 2010.[5] It was the Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4 from 1–5 March 2010, with Smith reading five 15-minute excerpts from her book.[6]

Television series[edit]

In August 2015, it was announced that Showtime was developing a limited series based on the memoir. The network landed the rights partly because Smith wanted to collaborate with writer John Logan, being a fan of his series Penny Dreadful.[7]


  1. ^ Bohemian Soul Mates in Obscurity The New York Times, January 17, 2010
  2. ^ Fortnam, Ian (June 2014). "Q&A: Patti Smith". Classic Rock #197. p. 30.
  3. ^ "National Book Awards – 2010". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-20. (With interview, acceptance speech, and reading.)
  4. ^ Just Kids: Punk Icon Patti Smith Looks Back National Public Radio, January 19, 2010
  5. ^ Patti Smith: Just Kids Part 1 KCRW's Bookworm with Host Michael Silverblatt
  6. ^ Book of the Week: Just Kids BBC Radio 4, March 5, 2010
  7. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (August 11, 2015). "Showtime's David Nevins Talks 'Twin Peaks,' Patti Smith Series, Documentary Push". Variety. Retrieved August 11, 2015.

External links[edit]