Nina Antonia

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Portrait of Nina Antonia by CJ

Nina Antonia (born Nina Antonia Benjamin 1960 in Liverpool) is an English author.[1] She has written articles and books about Johnny Thunders, the New York Dolls, The Only Ones, Peter Doherty and a memoir of glam star Brett Smiley entitled 'The Prettiest Star'.[2] She has also contributed to Classic Rock, Mojo & Uncut, as well penning liner notes for a variety of artists including Lou Reed, Nico, The Stooges, Vince Taylor, Link Wray and Wanda Jackson.

A selection of her work can be found on Rock's Back Pages.

Antonia is featured in the Sundance nominated documentary New York Doll alongside Morrissey, Mick Jones and Iggy Pop and can be seen in Danny Garcia's poignant documentary Looking For Johnny. Nina also appears in Garcia's 2019 documentary, Stiv - No Compromise, No Regrets about Stiv Bators. As well as appearing on Radio One and Radio Six, Nina has performed at spoken word events and enjoyed a retrospective of her work at the Barbican curated by Jay Clifton. Clifton commented 'The special value of Nina's oeuvre lies not so much in her subjects, but in her personal commitment to both the documentation of them and a search for the truth about both their character and their cultural significance. Like the best writers, she begins from personal fascinations. But with a balance of personal feelings and objective contemplation, combined with a fluid literary style, she writes books that resonate beyond the parameters of the surface material.' In 2013, Antonia lectured on Glam at Tate Liverpool.[3]

Nina's first book Johnny Thunders...In Cold Blood (Jungle Records, 1987) which has been in print for over 25 years, was hailed by the New Musical Express as 'Gorgeously Sordid' and awarded four stars. In 2012, the book was optioned to a Hollywood production company.[4] A de luxe Italian translation of the Thunders book appeared in late 2015 from Pipeline Books.

In March 2015, Antonia's classic 'The One and Only: Peter Perrett, Homme Fatale' was re-published by Thin Man Press. The new, expanded edition was hailed as 'a ravishing read'[5] and 'an engrossing account'.[6] Reviewer Gus Ironside, writing in Louder than War' suggested that Nina Antonia merits a far higher media profile but has been 'excluded from the "Boys' Club" of mainstream rock journalism'.[7] Antonia appeared in conversation with Perrett at the Albert Hall to coincide with the new edition.

In July 2014, Thin Man Press published 'From Albion to Shangri-La' by Peter Doherty, edited by Antonia who transcribed the content from Doherty's hand-written journals. Doherty penned the preface to the book in which he remarked, 'Seen Nina write, she riots'. International Times celebrated Antonia's contribution in a review: 'Nina Antonia, Peter Doherty's understanding editor and literary soulmate...aids and abets his literary rebellion'. In 2016, Nina had her first supernatural piece ‘South-West 13’ published in an Egaeus Press anthology ‘Soliloquy for Pan’ which sold out within days. She has continued to contribute to Egaeus, penning a novella length essay ‘How Shall Dead Men Sing’ about Lord Alfred Douglas and Oscar Wilde. Another essay ‘Bosie and The Beast’ appeared in Fenris Wolf 8, in 2017. The August issue of The Reprobate [8] features an interview Nina did with Holly Woodlawn[9] as well as a review of Caroline Coon's memoir Laid Bare.[10] Nina’s first supernatural novel ‘The Greenwood Faun’[11] was published by Egaeus Press in December 2017. It was reviewed by Gus Ironside for Louder Than War, Mark Andresen from The Pan Review who also interviewed Antonia and Caroline Coon on her website. On 21 February 2018 Michael Dirda wrote an article for The Washington Post entitled, Four literary fanzines that can save your life. Or at least make you less lonely, where he reviewed Wormwood and called the second half of Antonia's essay, Incurable: Lionel Johnson, the Disconsolate Decadent, "enthralling".[12]Michael Dirda also reviewed 'The Greenwood Faun' in his April 25 Washington Post article, Stories that are strange, fantastical — and utterly engrossing. In October 2018, Incurable: The Haunted Writings of Lionel Johnson, the Decadent Era’s Dark Angel, which has been edited by Nina Antonia and includes a detailed biographical essay by her, will be released by Strange Attractor Press.[13]Duncan Fallowell included Incurable: The Haunted Writings of Lionel Johnson, the Decadent Era’s Dark Angel in his choice of books of the year (2018) for The Spectator.[14] On December 5, 2018, Michael Dirda in his book review, The ’90s are having a literary moment. That is, the 1890s. . ., for the Washington Post included Incurable: The Haunted Writings of Lionel Johnson, the Decadent Era's Dark Angel as a must read.[15]

Selected works[edit]

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