Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries, 1971 - 1973 First Edition By: Jim Carroll Published: 1987 Publisher: Penguin Format: Paperback Cover photo: Cindy Lewis Cover design: Melissa Jacoby Hand-coloring: Neil Stuart
Forced Entries picks up Carroll's story on his twentieth birthday, just as he is entering New York's hip art scene. He rubs elbows with dozens of famous poets and artists, is Patti Smith's beau for a time, works for Andy Warhol and Larry Rivers, and hangs out at Max's Kansas City, where the Velvet Underground is performing. But all the while, he is leading a double life: still addicted to heroin, Carroll attempts to overcome his past and establish himself as an artist within this society of artists. Yet this quest for authentication combined with his need for drugs eventually threatens to destroy him. While he is frantically trying to keep up with the "scene," his addiction overtakes him and his writing, and he finds that he has become a stranger to himself. Because of this, Carroll flees to California to successfully conquer his addiction and learn to see again.