Woolgathering by Patti Smith / ISBN 9780811231251 / 112-page paperback with flaps, 4.6 x 7 inches, published by New Directions
An ode to childhood and to “woolgathering” as the wellspring for a creative life―now in an expanded paperback edition
The National Book Award–winner Patti Smith updates her treasure box of a childhood memoir about “clear unspeakable joy” and “just the wish to know” with a radiant new afterword, written during the pandemic and reflecting on current times. This expanded paperback edition also includes new photographs by the author.
A great book about becoming an artist, Woolgathering tells of a child finding herself as she learns the noble vocation of woolgathering, “a worthy calling that seemed a good job for me.” She discovers―often at night, often in nature―the pleasures of rescuing “a fleeting thought.” Woolgathering calls up our own memories, as the child “glimpses and gleans, piecing together a crazy quilt of truths.” Smith shares the fierce, vital pleasures of stargazing and wandering. Her new Afterword, penned during the quarantine, opens new horizons in “the scarcely charted landscape of memory governed by clouds.”
Woolgathering celebrates the sacred nature of creation in Smith’s singular language, acclaimed as “glorious” (NPR), “spellbinding” (Booklist), “rare and ferocious” (Salon), and “shockingly beautiful” (New York Magazine).