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Patti Smith's memoir wins the National Book Award

Rock singer-songwriter turned author Patti Smith has won the National Book Award for nonfiction for her memoir, Just Kids. The book is filled with the author’s heartfelt and honest musings about her relationship with the oft-controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe in New York during the 1960s and ‘70s.

During her acceptance speech, Smith recalled her time working at Scribner’s bookstore in Manhattan, saying, “I dreamed of having a book of my own, of writing one that I could put on a shelf,” She also took the opportunity to speak out a little on the impending death of print, saying, “No matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.”

This year’s fiction award went to Jaimy Gordon for Lord Of Misrule, her novel centered in the high-stakes world of horse racing in West Virginia. (Arguably the most talked-about book of the year, Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, didn’t even make the cut of finalists.)

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