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La Salle News

January 31, 2013

From the Basement to the Academy Awards: Alum Matthew Quick’s Novel The Silver Linings Playbook Becomes an Oscar-Nominated Film

Every day for three years, La Salle University alum Matthew Quick stepped into a cellar in Massachusetts to write his novel. Now, he’s travelling the country to promote the film version of The Silver Linings Playbook, which has received eight Academy Award nominations, including best picture.

“To see this go from my in-laws’ basement, when everybody thought I was just some insane person throwing away a good position (as a teacher), to eight Oscar nominations is mind-blowing,” Quick told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It also is a win for Philly. I really believe that. I wrote this book because I missed Philadelphia, I love Philadelphia.”

And there’s more good news for the 1996 graduate: HarperCollins has purchased the manuscript for his next novel, The Good Luck of Right Now, and DreamWorks Studios has bought the film rights.  Click here for more information on Quick’s next book and the DreamWorks acquisition.).

An English-Secondary Education major, Quick was teaching high school in Haddonfield, N.J., when he decided to take a risk: He and wife, Alicia Bessette (also a La Salle graduate), quit their jobs, sold their home, and moved in with her parents in Massachusetts. There, Quick penned the quirky story of Pat, a huge Philadelphia Eagles football fan who has just been released from a mental institution. The Silver Linings Playbook was published in September 2008. There was “Hollywood” talk about a film version, and then it happened, when Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Julia Stiles, and Robert De Niro were cast. (Oscar trivia: Silver Linings Playbook is only the ninth film in Oscar history to receive nominations in all four acting categories.)

Quick and David O. Russell, who wrote the screenplay and directed the film version, were at the Philadelphia Film Festival in December when Silver Linings Playbook was screened. Quick was always sure to mention his connection to La Salle in media interviews. Quick has also written three young adult novels, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Boy21, and Sorta Like a Rock Star.