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Devotion

Written by: Patti Smith
Narrated by: Patti Smith
Length: 2 hrs and 8 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic - its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring.

How does an artist accomplish such an achievement, connecting deeply with an audience never met? In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture's beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections.

Patti Smith first presents an original and beautifully crafted tale of obsession - a young skater who lives for her art, a possessive collector who ruthlessly seeks his prize, a relationship forged of need both craven and exalted. She then takes us on a second journey, exploring the sources of her story. We travel through the South of France to Camus' house, and visit the garden of the great publisher Gallimard where the ghosts of Mishima, Nabokov, and Genet mingle. Smith tracks down Simone Weil's grave in a lonely cemetery, hours from London, and winds through the nameless Paris streets of Patrick Modiano's novels. Whether writing in a cafe or a train, Smith generously opens her notebooks and lets us glimpse the alchemy of her art and craft in this arresting and original book on writing.

The Why I Write series is based on the Windham-Campbell Lectures, delivered annually to commemorate the awarding of the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University.

©2017 Patti Smith (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Devotion

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Brilliant and humble

A stunning window into one writer's process. An honour to hear her read it. Grateful.

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Patti Smith Conjures a New Golden Genre

In Devotion, Patti Smith performs literary alchemy as fiction and nonfiction conjure gleaming gold. Smith begins and ends with invigorating insight into the act of writing, takes us back in time to the cafe she nearly realized and on a risky pilgrimage with Fred Sonic Smith to visit a penal colony in French Guyana, gathering symbolic souvenirs for Jean Genet in an enlightened travelogue, and on a book tour in France. Inspired by figure skating seen on seatback TV in her travels, Smith also spins a many figure-eighted tale of Eugenia, an inspired skater who is offered the freedom to practice her passion year-round at the cost of chains. To hear her rapturous writing in her own vivid voice is nothing short of incredible. One comes away grateful to live in such an age and in the living company of a luminescent mind that deserves to glow for all time.

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Deeply Drawn

I enjoy the deep world of this author's mind. Giving the reader tools to view life on a more tactile way. Patti Smith always leaves me wanting more. There for her body of written art is my re read treasure. For anyone wanting to view life, humans, surroundings in a more fascinating , less judgemental way, only the truest, emotional revealing way.

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  • Roger L. Walraven
  • 2018-06-11

No Disappointment Here

I’m a avid fan of Patti Smith and always will be. Having met her in my youth, she impressed me then, as she still does, more than fifty years later. My heart leapt when I saw that she, herself, had narrated Devotion. Patti Smith’s reading of her own work propels my into a state of near bliss. Sultry, yet savage, would be an almost adequate explanation of how I feel about this artist’s voice and use of our modern language. She excelled as a singer, song writer and iconic punk poetess, as she excels as a story writer. I’m thankful and still in love. Not bad for a Jersey Girl. Namaste.

2 people found this helpful

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  • kristina
  • 2018-08-07

long live patti

I always am deeply moved by patti Smiths books, its an honor to hear her intimate reading.

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  • Brad S.
  • 2020-09-28

moved

loved the book loved Patti's reading gonna read The Stranger next...I also loved The Year of the Monkey. thanks PS :)

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  • Steven E. Frost
  • 2020-05-19

Another incredible Patti Smith piece.

While brief, this book is deeply satisfying. Patti Smith is a remarkable narrator who poses the voice and soul of a poet.

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  • FD Thornton
  • 2019-09-04

Patti is truly a wordsmith of another age

When I first listened to this over a year ago, I had trouble grasping it. But as I have listened and read more of Patti's work, I've learned to appreciate her style and cadence. Part story, part poetry the book weaves a tale of art, memory, and style. Patti's style.