Patti Smith's National Book Award-winning Just Kids is the best book I've read in a long time, and maybe the best I've ever read about the creative process.
It's the story of her development as an artist during her childhood and througout her 20s via her complex relationship with best friend and artist Robert Mapplethorpe. It's an incredibly moving, intricately written autobiography and is ripe with detail when it comes to their poverty stricken existance that was lit up only by art and by friendships with some of NYC's most colorful characters in the late 60s/early 70s, like Candy Darling, Harry Smith and Janis Joplin, to name but a few. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! In our current era of irony and faux posing, where Manhattan's exceedingly high rents have obliterated any hope for real artistic daring, it was refreshing and inspiring to read about two consummate artists taking on the city who truly lived for their work and for creation itself.