Patti Smith says reading Mark Twain gave her anxiety
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Patti Smith thinks reading Mark Twain gave her anxiety and caused her to throw up.

The 72-year-old songwriter - who was a prominent figure in the New York City punk rock movement in the 1970s - has revealed she tried reading the legendary author during her younger years, but that the experience was so traumatic, she's never been able to return to his work.

Patti - who is also an acclaimed poet and author - explained: "I was reading Mark Twain's 'The Prince and the Pauper' when I was young. It gave me such anxiety that I threw up. I never finished it - and still can't bear to."

Despite this, Patti has always had a deep-rooted love of literature.

Asked about her earliest memory of reading, she told the Guardian newspaper: "Falling in love with books before I could read ... I was certain they contained treasure, and reading Robert Louis Stevenson's 'A Child's Garden of Verses' I found I was right."

Patti also revealed there's one book in particular that she wishes she'd written herself.

She said: "'The Adventures of Pinocchio' by Carlo Collodi is the perfect book for any age.

"It addresses creation, the war between good and evil, redemption, and transfiguration in one beloved tale. I have loved it since age seven and have long wished to write something similar."

This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.