Nina Antonia: The Greenwood Faun – book review
Nina Antonia: The Greenwood Faun
Available to order now
The doyenne of Noir rock journalism, enigmatic writer Nina Antonia is best known for her classic debut publication, ‘Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood’, the deathless biography of the influential New York Doll and Heartbreaker, which has famously never been out of print since its release in 1987. Antonia’s lastest work, ‘The Greenwood Faun’, is a gorgeously outré, supernatural novel infused with the spirit of the mystical Welsh author, Arthur Machen. Published by Egaeus Press, The Greenwood Faun is acutely described by cult musician and author David Tibet of Current93: “shot through with decadence, poetry, opium and incense . . .this is a beautifully written poem: witty, crepuscular, enchanting, surprising”.
Despite having also authored the first ever New York Dolls biography, the best-selling ‘Too Much, Too Soon’, and the definitive biography of The Only Ones’ frontman Peter Perrett, Antonia has remained a resolutely underground figure, never losing her air of mystique and never compromising her artistic integrity. ‘The Greenwood Faun’ breaks new ground for Antonia, yet its themes, lucid poetics and louche otherworldliness will be familiar to readers of the author’s underground music biographies.
“Art devoid of spirit has no afterlife for it cannot nourish the soul. But to give one’s soul to art and make a pact with the Old Gods demands sacrifice”, states the introduction to the ‘The Greenwood Faun’, delineating the novel’s thematic links to Antonia’s non-fiction works. ‘The Greenwood Faun’ is written with a compelling, cascading rhythm that quickly induces an intoxicating effect; Antonia knows only too well how to cast an indelible glamour on the unsuspecting reader. There are precious few contemporary writers willing to explore the decadent frissons that Antonia explores here, which makes this delicious work all the more alluring. A revivifying tonic for soul-crushing times.
Nina Antonia will be performing a reading at Putney Library, London, on Wednesday 13 December between 6.45pm to 7.45pm. Mulled wine will be on hand to stave off the evening chill. (For more information call 020 8780 3085, or email Charlene.Coleman@gll.org.)
Order The Greenwood Faun here.