A new book by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, youngest son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, openly discusses what he says are the mental illnesses and addictions of himself and his family members, and takes on what he portrays as a veil of secrecy used to hide the problems of America’s most famous political family.

The memoir, “A Common Struggle,” out Monday, focuses heavily on his relationship with his father and how the younger Kennedy often felt he let his father down while coping with bipolar and anxiety disorders and repeated trips to rehab, even as a Rhode Island congressman.

By his telling, it was a singular experience growing up a Kennedy: Family members have the habit of giving each other autographed photos of themselves; he got one from his father when he was just a baby.

But even stranger was browsing through a bookstore one day and discovering a shelf of Kennedy books, and realizing all the family secrets he wasn’t supposed to talk about were written there, he writes.

“The books were often riddled with inaccuracies, but also riddled with facts that probably would have been much easier to hear first from close family members and perhaps with some context,” Kennedy writes. He says his father spoke with him only once about his 1969 car crash on Chappaquiddick Island that killed his father’s passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. It happened one year as the anniversary approached.

“’I just want you to know how bad I feel about everything, and I’m really sorry you have to hear about it,’ ” he says his father told him. “That was it. Then we just walked in silence.”

‘Jingle Ball’ lineup is revealed

KDWB Radio’s annual concert roadshow known as “Jingle Ball” is out with its 12-performer lineup for this holiday season bash Dec. 7 at the Xcel Energy Center, with Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato among the Top 40 acts. The rest of the roster for the iHeart Radio-produced show: Calvin Haris, Fall Out Boy, Zedd, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Tovelo, R City, Hailee Steinfeld, Becky G and DNCE. Ticket information has yet to be released by Ticketmaster. Last year, seats ranged from $51.30 and $170.60.

Paul Walsh

 

songwriters: George Harrison, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Madonna, Tom Petty and John Mellencamp are among the A-list contenders nominated for the 2016 Songwriters Hall of Fame. Blondie, Gloria Estefan, the Isley Brothers, Sly Stone and Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards are also up for the top honor. Nonperforming songwriters nominated for the honor include Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Max Martin, who has cowritten No. 1 hits for Britney Spears, Katy Perry, the Weeknd and Taylor Swift. Official announcement of the nominees is Tuesday with winners inducted next June in New York City.

Associated Press