$17.95 – Paperback / WW Norton & Co / United States
The Coral Sea
Through the linked pieces of The Coral Sea, Patti Smith honors
her comrade-in-arms Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989). She tells the
story of a man on an ocean journey to see the Southern Cross, who
is reflecting on his life and fighting the illness that is
consuming him. Metaphoric and dreamy, this tale of transformation
arises from Smith's knowledge of Mapplethorpe from a young man to a
mature artist; his close relationship with patron and friend, Sam
Wagstaff; his years surviving AIDS; and his ascent into death. The
Coral Sea is Smith's lyrically compelling recasting of her grief to
recapture Mapplethorpe's life in the past and his future in his
art. Rich in evocative details, it shows the man beneath the
This edition features a new introduction and new material by Smith.
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