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M Train (book)

M Train is a 2015 memoir written by Patti Smith. Smith's audiobook recording of M Train earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album.

M Train
M Train (book).jpg
Author Patti Smith
Audio read by Patti Smith
Subject Memoir
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf, Random House Audio
Publication date
Media type Print / Audio
Pages 253
ISBN 978-1-101-87510-0 (Hardcover)
LC Class ML420.S672



Smith published M Train in 2015 with Alfred A. Knopf.[1]


M Train is Smith's second memoir,[2] following the 2010 National Book Award-winning Just Kids.[3] While Just Kids recounts Smith's early life, the beginning of her career and particularly her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe,[4] M Train focuses on a later portion of her life, the period since the release of her debut album Horses in 1975.[3] The memoir particularly recounts the personal losses that marked the forty-year span between Horses and M Train, including the deaths of Mapplethorpe in 1989, of AIDS; Smith's husband, guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith, in 1994 at 45, of heart failure;[5] and Smith's brother Todd a month later, of a stroke.[6]


M Train received strongly favorable reviews. In The New York Times, book critic Michiko Kakutani called the book "achingly beautiful" with "lyrical and radiantly pictorial" prose.[6] In The Washington Post, novelist Elizabeth Hand described the book as being as "perceptive and beautifully written as its predecessor" Just Kids.[3] In one mild dissent, novelist Charles Finch wrote in the Chicago Tribune that M Train "didn't change my life" but "it's also easy to see why so many readers say that it has," noting it shares Just Kids' "gangly but lovely writing, the same resolute faith in the consolations of art, the same odd flashes of humor, the same rawness to memory and's obvious why some readers find a deep, deep correspondence to their own inner lives in [Smith's] work."[7]


M Train was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.[8]


  1. ^ Heilpern, John (October 2, 2015). "Patti Smith Talks Fame, Youth, and Her New Memoir, M Train". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  2. ^ Lord, M.G. (4 December 2015). "Patti Smith's 'M Train'". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Hand, Elizabeth (October 2, 2015). "In her memoir 'M Train,' Patti Smith opens up about her life and loves". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  4. ^ O'Keeffe, Alice (2015-11-19). "M Train by Patti Smith review – into the mind of an artist". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  5. ^ Corrigan, Maureen (October 7, 2015). "Patti Smith Reveals Her Solitary Soul In 'M Train'". Fresh Air. NPR. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  6. ^ a b Kakutani, Michiko (1 October 2015). "Review: 'M Train,' Patti Smith on All the Roads She Has Taken". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  7. ^ Finch, Charles (November 12, 2015). "Review: 'M Train' by Patti Smith". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  8. ^ "2017 Grammy Awards: Complete list of nominees". Los Angeles Times. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.