Patti Smith's acclaimed memoir about youth and friendship, Just Kids (Ecco, 2010), is the winner of 2019's "One Book, One New York" contest, presented by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and BuzzFeed Books. New Yorkers selected Just Kids as the book they wanted the entire city to read together via online voting in April as part of the third annual "One Book, One New York" program, and 1,000 copies of Smith's memoir will now be available at public libraries throughout New York City. Additionally, Just Kids has been selected as the BuzzFeed Book Club pick for July.
MOME's Commissioner Anne del Castillo called Just Kids a "quintessential New York City memoir and love story" and noted that the One Book program continues to generate enthusiasm. "We were thrilled to present a talented slate of female authors representing a diverse range of backgrounds, ethnicities, and life experiences for New Yorkers to choose from," she said in a statement.
Smith's book depicts her life as an artist living in New York City during the late sixties and seventies alongside photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. "New York was the city that welcomed and formed us, was emblematic of our struggles and successes," she said in a statement. "It is moving to imagine that our story will represent, through One Book, One New York, the countless stories of those who come to our diverse and complex city, with dreams of their own."
In celebration of the win, Smith will appear at Symphony Space as part of the PEN America World Voices Festival on May 10 in a conversation with Buzzfeed's books editor, Ariana Rebolini. PEN America president Jennifer Egan, whose Manhattan Beach was last year’s One Book winner, will introduce Smith during the event.