Aged 20, Patti Smith left South Jersey and went to New York, determined to become an artist.
There she met Robert Mapplethorpe. Both became famous; but this memoir focuses on the early years, when they were still struggling, and is a tender account of their time together, first as lovers, then as loving friends. We see the slow beginnings of their careers; his as artist, hers as poet and musician. Bit-part players include Jimi Hendrix, Sam Shepard and Andy Warhol. Despite the environment of low-life Bohemianism, with a cast of pimps, prostitutes, chancers and junkies, there's an essential innocence about Smith's evocation of the period.