Brand new book based on the diaries of Peter Doherty written by Nina Antonia with video thingy too!
Based on first hand observations over the last seven years and drawing from his journals, ‘Exile in Paradise’ reveals the errant genius of Peter Doherty by cult author Nina Antonia. Of Nina’s work, Peter noted ‘Seen Nina write, she riots.’
Lyrical and astute, the curtain is pulled back on the perilous theatre of Doherty’s life, capturing the grubby bohemia and glorious melody of England’s last musical icon.
Hailed by Morrissey and renowned for her infamous biographies of Johnny Thunders, the New York Dolls and Peter Perrett; Nina Antonia entered Peter Doherty’s orbit in 2007.
Aware of Nina’s literary skill in portraying the Byronic creed of the ‘Mad, bad and dangerous’ Doherty gravitated towards Antonia eventually entrusting his latter- day diaries to her. The result is ‘Exiled in Paradise’ a unique journey that gives an intimate view of Doherty’s often fraught existance. Both poignant and irreverent, ‘Exiled in Paradise’ depicts a gifted artiste poised on the brink between immortality and dissolution. Soaring moments of joy are tempered by the trap of addiction. Peppered with insights from Doherty and biographical details by Antonia, the reader is drawn into an unsparing account of the divine and the profane. With his saucer-eyes and baby-face, Doherty, like all truly iconic figures, is instantly recognisable.
We think we know him and yet after almost twenty years in the public eye all that really exists aside from his music, are clues. He is unquestionably charismatic, as the hit-producing front man of the Libertines or Babyshambles and as a solo-artist cradling an audience of thousands in his hands. In December 2012, he informed the NME that he felt he was a ‘Tabloid Creation’, but that all depends on your point of view. For the fans, he’s a free voice, the last son of an imaginary Bohemia, reading poetry in the long-grass and writing songs of finely wrought poignancy. An enigma, Peter Doherty is a catalyst for headlines and an all season’s paradox. The personas are many; performer, dreamer, jail-bird, rock- star, victim, actor, addict, tearaway, victor, guitar- playing will o’ the wisp and yet no one single description truly encapsulates Peter Doherty.
Written with Peter’s accord and drawing from his diaries, ‘Exiled in Paradise’ offers a hitherto unexplored view of a modern day Orpheus who exists between the underworld and high-society. From the Libertine’s reunion to Peter’s relocation to Paris, attempts to rebuild his relationship with his young son, assorted amorous liaisons and drug debacles, ‘Exiled in Paradise’ is a searing portrayal into the soul-errant that is Peter Doherty. Breaking the boundaries of traditional rock biographies, Nina Antonia’s lyrical depiction explores both Doherty’s desire to live unburdened by the constraints of society and the true nature of addiction and how it impacts on an artiste.
Outside, Peter’s driver, a dour man of unspecific European origins was getting tired of waiting, as were the French ballerinas, Celine and Octavie. A space in the vehicle was made for us, not easy considering it is packed full of musical equipment and a large punch-bag belonging to Doherty, who jumps in the back and hides under a duvet with the charming Celine. Bizarrely, one of the conditions of Peter’s curfew forbids him to sit in the passenger seat but who am I to question the wisdom of the law as we speed past Wormwood Scrubs and on to the motorway. En route, Celine and Octavie chatter gaily. They are like fairies, blithe spirits who often accompany Peter on stage, conveying his music in dance. ‘Pipedown’ they confess is exhausting to pirouette to.
Nina Antonia made her literary debut with ‘Johnny Thunders – In Cold Blood’ which has now been in print for 24 years. The book was lauded by the NME as ‘Gorgeously sordid’. She has also written critically acclaimed biographies of the Only One’s front man, Peter Perrett and the New York Dolls as well as contributing to Mojo, Classic Rock and Uncut. Following an appearance in the Sundance nominated documentary ‘Arthur Kane, New York Doll’ alongside such luminaries as Iggy Pop and Mick Jones, the film rights for ‘Johnny Thunders – In Cold Blood’ were optioned to a US production company.