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Patti Smith Working on Third Memoir, Detective Story, YA Novel

“I’m always just working. I have tons and tons and tons of unpublished material,” singer-turned-prolific author says

Patti Smith

'M Train' author Patti Smith is working on more projects, including a third memoir, a detective story and a YA novel

Philip Montgomery/The NY Times/Redux

Patti Smith will release her second memoir M Train on Tuesday, and the Horses singer appears fully immersed in her role as an author. Speaking at the New Yorker Festival over the weekend, Smith revealed that she has at least four more literary projects in the works, including a third autobiography, a book of poems, a detective novel and a young-adult fiction story. “[It’s] the kind of book I used to read as a young girl,” Smith said.

Smith’s critically acclaimed debut memoir Just Kids arrived in 2010 and won the National Book Award, and the rocker has been writing nonstop ever since. “I’m always just working. I have tons and tons and tons of unpublished material,” Smith said (via Vulture). “I’m going to be like Dorothy Parker when I die. People are going to go, ‘Holy shit, it’s totally indecipherable.'”

Smith has described M Train as “a roadmap to my life,” with the singer reflecting on her life and art through various places she’s frequented on her journeys. Smith revealed at the New Yorker Festival that her next tome will focus on her music and her relationship with her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith, the MC5 guitarist who passed away in 1994. Of all the projects Smith is working on, that memoir will likely be completed first.

In April 2014, Smith first revealed that she was working on a detective novel and mapped out the story’s setting. “The detective story starts in London by St Giles’ Church in Covent Garden. I can honestly say I was just sitting outside the church, there were a lot of homeless people about, daydreaming, and this story just came into my head,” Smith told The Independent. “It’s made me so nostalgic for that area, I don’t see me walking there when I think of that spot, though; I think of my detective. I’ll finish when I finish. I’m working on three books so it’s like a horse race – whichever crosses the line first will get published. I love to write; it’s my first vocation.”


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