Woolgathering, Hardback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


In this small, luminous memoir, the National Book Award-winner Patti Smith revisits the most sacred experiences of her early years, with truths so vivid they border on the surreal.

The author entwines her childhood self - and its 'clear, unspeakable joy' - with memories both real and envisioned from her twenties on New York's MacDougal Street, the street of cafes.

Woolgathering was completed in Michigan, on Patti Smith's 45th birthday and originally published in a slim volume from Raymond Foye's Hanuman Books.

Twenty years later, Bloomsbury is proud to present it in a much augmented edition, featuring writing that was omitted from the book's first printing, along with new photographs and illustrations.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Rock & Pop music
  • ISBN: 9781408832301

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This is an odd one. In well under 100 pages, Smith manages to cram in photographs, vignettes from her life and a dose of poetry. I picked it up at the library after one of my favourite BookTubers reviewed it, and I'm glad I did, even though I've forgotten most of it already. It's undeniably well written and has its profoundly beautiful moments - I particularly liked the vignette entitled 'Nineteen Fifty-Seven', which manages to combine fire, grief, family and a dog into a heartbreaking few pages - but the poetry and more random 'artistic' moments didn't do much for me, I'm afraid. It came across as a bit pretentious where I think it was just meant to be honest. If <i>Just Kids</i> sticks with Smith's talent for writing and nixes the odd tangents, I think we'll get on just fine. Tentatively recommended.

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