THE Who’s legendary guitarist Pete Townshend will be discussing the publication of his upcoming “rock novel” The Age Of Anxiety next month.

Townshend will be at St George’s Church in Kemp Town, Brighton, on November 7 for a conversation with BBC presenter Mariella Frostrup, exploring the inspiration and driving forces behind his latest artistic endeavour.

The Age Of Anxiety, whose title references the Pulitzer Prize-winning poem by WH Auden, has been described by its publishers, Coronet, as an “extended meditation on manic genius and the dark art of creativity”.

“The novel captures the craziness of the music business and displays Townshend’s sly sense of humour and sharp ear for dialogue,” said Coronet publisher Mark Booth.

“Hallucination and soundscapes haunt this novel, which on one level is an extended mediation on manic genius and the dark art of creativity.”

Townshend has revealed that the novel’s release is just the first stage in a planned three-part multimedia project.

He said: “Ten years ago I decided to create a magnus opus that would combine opera, art installation and novel.

“Suddenly here I am with a completed novel ready to publish.

“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.”

Rock opera is well-trodden ground for Townshend, creator of rock operas such as Tommy and Quadrophenia, which was adapted into the legendary largely Brighton-based 1979 film.

Townshend set aside his music career for a period in 1983 to work as an acquisitions editor at London publisher Faber and Faber, with who he published Horse’s Neck, a collection of short stories, in 1985.

This year has proved to be a particularly busy one for the 74-year-old as The Who will release their first album in 13 years, entitled WHO, on November 22.

Singer Roger Daltrey, who lives near Burwash, said: “I think we’ve made our best album since Quadrophenia in 1973. Pete hasn’t lost it. He’s still a fabulous songwriter and he’s still got that cutting edge.”

Tickets for the St George’s Church event are available from the Waterstones website.