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Just Kids Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060936228
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - November 2nd, 2010

You need not be familiar with the artistic work of Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe to appreciate Just Kids, Patti's loving tribute to their friendship. Written twenty years after Robert's death, the account is full of poetic and tender memories of their young, bohemian lives together in New York City during the 70s. She vividly captures the atmosphere of the city and the times, recalling the details of how she and Robert outfitted themselves and their various apartments. In one memorable passage, she comically describes her unorthodox party attire as that of a "tennis player in mourning." Patti and Robert's ever-growing collection of sentimental trinkets, books, and music becomes an essential element of the memoir, as the pair moves these evocative objects from one gritty dwelling to the next They eventually settle in a room at the famed Chelsea Hotel, amongst a colorful and talented cast of residents. While they navigate the social web of New York's artists, writers and musicians, their faithful and zealous support of one other secures a constant bond between the two. Smith's record of their fierce devotion and companionship is fond and sensitive, melancholy and celebratory. It is a deeply satisfying coming of age story about honoring a spirited friendship.


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An Object of Beauty Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446573658
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 15th, 2011

Steve Martin’s latest novel,  An Object of Beauty, follows Lacey Yeager’s entry level beginnings in the dank basement of Sotheby’s, to the whitewashed walls of her own uptown gallery.  As her story unfolds, pieces of art that Lacey once regards with sentimentality become the currency with which she climbs the art world ladder. With sharp, clean prose, Martin manages to keep the reader at a remote distance from Lacey, rarely revealing the details of her inner life or motivations.  At times, she is as ambiguous and questionable as the works of art that that pass through her hands. 


Martin has cleverly included numerous full color reproductions of works that illustrate the plot from one calculated sale to the next.  These images add an unconventional visual element to the novel that complements and enhances the subject matter nicely.  The book has a chilly aesthetic;  Martin seems to have achieved a novelistic atmosphere that is as equally sparse and cool as a contemporary art gallery.  An Object of Beauty is a thoughtful and entertaining examination of the world of contemporary art, that will leave you wondering whether it is all just about showing off, selling out, and moving up.  

~ Leah