Word on the Street

‘The Doors: Unhinged’ by John Densmore

The Doors, from left, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Jim Morrison, and Ray Manzarek.
The Doors, from left, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Jim Morrison, and Ray Manzarek.

Literary festival to honor Quick

Massachusetts resident Matthew Quick, whose debut novel, “The Silver Linings Playbook,” tells an irreverent yet authentic story about a man recently released from a mental institution AND WAS TURNED INTO AN ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING FILM, will be honored at this year’s Newburyport Literary Festival.

On April 26, Quick, who quit his teaching job to become a novelist, will discuss the joys of the writing life with Tom Abrams, chairman of the Newburyport High School English department, and some of his students. The following day Quick will participate in “The Writer’s Perspective: An Honest Conversation About Mental Health” with Evan Roskos, whose debut young adult novel “Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) centers on a teen struggling with depression and anxiety.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Diaz is the biggest name on a festival schedule that features more than 60 writers in just about every genre you can think of. Festival favorite Andre Dubus III and Steve Yarbrough, director of Emerson College’s MFA program, will read from their forthcoming books, and Holly Hughes, editor of the annual “Best Food Writing” anthology, will lead a discussion of mouthwatering subjects. Details at

The darkness behind The Doors


With The Doors, it was one for all and all for one — until it wasn’t. Under an agreement made in 1971, the year lead singer Jim Morrison died, each member had veto power over any deal. In “The Doors: Unhinged” (Percussive), John Densmore chronicles the successful lawsuit that he and Morrison’s estate brought against fellow band members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger for touring under The Doors name.

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Densmore kicks off his book tour on April 20, which is Record Store Day, a celebration of independent record stores. The following day he will sign books at 4 p.m. at the independent Porter Square Books in Cambridge.

National digital library set to launch

The Digital Public Library of America will be launched Thursday at the Boston Public Library. Registration has closed for the public event but beginning on that day you can find the library at The digital library, with administrative offices in Boston, provides a portal to a network of media from libraries, museums, universities, archives, and other collections across the country. The idea is simple, as Harvard University library director Robert Darnton WRITES in The New York Review of Books: “Any reader . . . [can] consult works that used to be stored on inaccessible shelves or locked up in treasure rooms.”

At launch, the library is expected to hold two to three million items. “Within a generation, there should be a worldwide network that will bring nearly all the holdings of all libraries and museums within the range of nearly everyone on the globe,” Darnton EXPLAINS. For a preview, check out the digital exhibition about immigration from Europe to the United States, a joint project of the Digital Public Library of America and Europeana, its European counterpart, at www.europeana.


Coming out


“I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids”by Jen Kirkman (Simon & Schuster)

“The Astor Orphan: A Memoir”by Alexandra Aldrich(Ecco)

“A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story”by Qais Akbar Omar (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Pick of the Week

Alden Graves of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt., recommends “The Burgess Boys” by Elizabeth Strout (Random House): “Relationships between the Burgess siblings from Shirley Falls, Maine, have always been tempestuous. After Susan’s teenage son instigates a racial incident, she turns to her two lawyer brothers for help. Old resentments are inflamed amidst the revelation of a terrible secret in this worthy successor to the Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘Olive Kitteridge.’ ”

Jan Gardner can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @JanLGardner.

Due to a reporting error, in an earlier version Yarbrough was misspelled. It has been corrected.