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A moving, vividly rendered novel from the author ofThe Basketball Diaries. Suffused with Jim Carroll's humor and sharp wit, his delicate yet hallucinatory imagery, and his cool, sophisticated, streetsmart voice, The Petting Zoo is a frank, haunting examination of one artist's personal and spiritual quest. Billy Wolfram, an enigmatic thirty-eight- year-old star of the late 1980s New York art scene, views a show of Velazquez paintings and is so humbled by their spiritual power that he suffers an emotional breakdown and retreats to his Chelsea loft. In seclusion, he recalls the most emblematic moments and figures of his childhood and early career as he searches to recover the spark of inspiration in his own work and life. Preface by Patti Smith.

“A heartfelt portrait of a New York original by a New York original.” - Publishers Weekly

“Introspective, observant, and, at times, quite hilarious, this is a fitting culmination of Carroll's life's work.” - Booklist

Jim Carroll (1949-2009) was the author of two acclaimed memoirs, The Basketball Diaries -- a bestseller that was adapted as a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio in 1995 -- and Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries 1971-1973, as well as several collections of poetry.