The guitarist has previously released a short story collection in 1985’s Horse’s Neck, the 2005 novella The Boy Who Heard Music, and his 2012 autobiography, Who I Am.
Townshend’s novel is set for publication on November 5. Publisher Mark Booth describes it as “a great rock novel” that “captures the craziness of the music business” through a “cultured, witty, and unreliable” narrator.
“[It] explores the anxiety of modern life and madness in a story that stretches across two generations of a London family, their lovers, collaborators, and friends,” he added.
Announcing a great rock novel from one our greatest and most influential musicians. The Age of Anxiety by The Who’s Pete Townshend will be published by @CoronetBooks on 5th November. #theageofanxiety
Pre-order your copy now https://t.co/qOqXZRWHco pic.twitter.com/j9pOhCt3fe
— The Who (@TheWho) March 5, 2019
In a statement, the musician said it was part of a 10-year-old plan to “create a magnum opus that would combine opera, art installation, and novel.”
“Suddenly here I am with a completed novel ready to publish,” he said. “I am an avid reader and have really enjoyed writing it. I am also happy to say the majority of the music is composed, ready to be polished up for release and performance. It’s tremendously exciting.”
An opera version of The Age Of Anxiety is reportedly in development, while an art installation and album will follow later.
Booth added that the book “deals with mythic and operatic themes including a maze, divine madness, and long-lost children.”
“Hallucinations and soundscapes haunt this novel, which on one level is an extended meditation on manic genius and the dark art of creativity,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Who announced details of a huge show at London’s Wembley Stadium earlier this year. The gig, which will take place on July 6, will see the iconic British band supported by Kaiser Chiefs and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.
The band will also tour the US in spring, while frontman Roger Daltrey recently confirmed they are set to release their first album of original material since 2006’s ‘Endless Wire’ later this year.