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Nina Antonia (born Nina Antonia Benjamin 1960) is an English author who has chronicled the lives and misadventures of Johnny Thunders, the New York Dolls, Peter Perrett and the elusive Brett Smiley. Antonia’s later work has explores decadent and supernatural themes, which led to a novel The Greenwood Faun (Egaeus Press, 2018), as well as the editorship of ‘Incurable’- The Haunted Writings of Lionel Johnson, the Decadent Era’s Dark Angel (Stranger Attractor Press, 2019).
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.
Antonia was born in Liverpool. Her 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". In 2012, the book was optioned to a Hollywood production company. A de luxe Italian translation of the Thunders book appeared in late 2015 from Pipeline Books.
In March 2015, Antonia's 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' and 'an engrossing account'. 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'. Antonia appeared in conversation with Perrett at the Albert Hall to coincide with the new edition.
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, was released by Strange Attractor Press. Incurable has been included in articles by Michael Dirda for the Washington Post, Duncan Fallowell of The Spectator, and Eric Hoffman of the Fortean Times.
- Johnny Thunders...In Cold Blood (Jungle Books, 1987)
- The One and Only: Peter Perrett, Homme Fatale (SAF Publishing, 1996)
- The New York Dolls – Too Much Too Soon (Omnibus Press, 2005)
- The Prettiest Star: Whatever Happened to Brett Smiley (SAF Publishing, 2006)
- From Albion to Shangri-La (Transcribed and edited by Antonia) by Peter Doherty (Thin Man Press, 2014)
- The One & Only: Peter Perrett, Homme Fatale by Nina Antonia (Thin Man Press, 2015)
- The Greenwood Faun by Nina Antonia (Egaeus Press, 2017)
- Incurable The Haunted Writings of Lionel Johnson, the Decadent Era’s Dark Angel edited by Nina Antonia (Strange Attractor Press, 2018)