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Johnny Depp helps get Woody Guthrie novel published

Johnny Depp at a press conference for "Dark Shadow" in Tokyo on May 13, 2012. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/GettyImages

(CBS News) Actor Johnny Depp and author and  historian  Douglas Brinkley are working to get an unpublished novel by folk singer Woody Guthrie released next spring.

Pictures: Johnny Depp

Guthrie, who died in 1967,  wrote the novel, "House of Earth," in 1947, but it was never published. Brinkley told the New York Times  that, as a fan of Guthrie, he had searched for the text.

He was able to get a copy of the manuscript with help from the Woody Guthrie Foundation and the singer's daughter, Nora, reports the Times.

Brinkley and Depp have described the novel in the Times as "a searing portrait of the Panhandle and its marginalized Great Depression residents. Guthrie successfully mixes Steinbeck's narrative verve with D. H. Lawrence's openness to erotic exploration."

Guthrie is best known for writing such songs  as "Bound for Glory," "Gamblin' Man" and "This Land Is Your Land."

This is not the first time Brinkley and Depp have worked together; the two wrote the Grammy-nominated liner notes for "Gonzo," the soundtrack that accompanied the documentary about their friend Hunter S. Thompson.

Brinkley told the paper the book will be released by "a major New York publisher."

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