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Patti Smith and Jonathan Lethem in Conversation


May 1, 2010 | The Great Hall, Cooper Union | NYC

With Jonathan Lethem and Patti Smith


Co-sponsored by Cooper Union

LISTEN | Download the mp3

Don’t miss this conversation with two New York icons. Patti Smith burst on to the New York punk scene with her 1975 seminal album Horses. A bright flame in music for more than three-decades, she has influenced the likes of REM, The Smiths, and Garbage. She is an acclaimed visual artist and poet, and recipient of a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture. Recently she released a memoir, Just Kids, about her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Jonathan Lethem’s National Book Critics Circle award-winning novel Motherless Brooklyn, about a detective with Tourette syndrome, had The New York Times crown him as “something of a hipster celebrity.” He’s also the author of The Fortress of Solitude and, most recently, Chronic City. Together they talk about Just Kids and some of their shared passions along the way – the visual arts, literature (of course) and their love for the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño.

• View the photo gallery on Flickr


• Jan Castro: Patti Smith strode into Great Hall wearing pink socks, jeans, short boots, a white shirt, and a black leather jacket. “I grew up in the 50s where most people were getting rid of old stuff,” she began … [more]

• Jane Ciabattari: Summery day. Drifts of tree pollen and cherry blossoms in the air. New Yorkers baring arms, legs, tattoos. Mayday protest for workers’ rights in Union Square, cheek by jowl with fresh arugula and fiddleheads at the greenmarket. [more]

• Mariella Dreyfus: It was wonderful to listen to Patti Smith perform “In my Blakean year”, a song that talks about endurance and faith. [more]

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