Prince is also an enthusiastic bibliophile and a collector of Pop and American counter-culture materials dating from 1949 to 1984. A 2011 exhibition at the Bibliothegrave;que Nationale in Paris will mine his vast interests, combining popular and rare books selected by the artist from the BnF collection, As well as highlights from the artist’s personal library, On public view For The first time. Set To The music of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, And The Velvet Underground, The exhibition, which is designed by architect David Adjaye, will meander through a succession of “beat,” “hippie,” and “punk” thematic settings, To name but a few. Prince’s library contains many rare volumes, among them Naked Lunch annotated by William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac’s rolled manuscript for Big Sur, Prince’s vast collection of “pulp fiction,” and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita published in several languages- thereby presenting the artist as an avid collector. American Prayer is a palimpsest of Prince’s intellectual explorations revealing the source material for many of his well-known series. Reprinted texts range from one-sentence quips to 2000-word excerpts. Allen Ginsberg, Richard Seaver, Sam Shepherd, and Terry Southern are among the authors who are quoted at length. Additionally, three new illuminating essays address various aspects of Prince’s book collecting: exhibition curator Robert Rubin; Marie Minssieux-Chamonard, The contemporary and rare book curator at the BnF; and rare-book expert John McWhinnie have all contributed illuminating texts. An artistic and unique object that will provide new insight into Prince’s work, this soft-cover book is an essential addition To The library of any true bibliophile or Richard Prince collector.