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The John Fante Reader Hardcover – February 19, 2002
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About the Author
John Fante began writing in 1929 and published his first short story in 1932. His first novel, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, was published in 1938 and was the first of his Arturo Bandini series of novels, which also include The Road to Los Angeles and Ask the Dust. A prolific screenwriter, he was stricken with diabetes in 1955. Complications from the disease brought about his blindness in 1978 and, within two years, the amputation of both legs. He continued to write by dictation to his wife, Joyce, and published Dreams from Bunker Hill, the final installment of the Arturo Bandini series, in 1982. He died on May 8, 1983, at the age of seventy-four.
Stephen Cooper is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the author of Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante. While researching Fante's life he discovered and edited the manuscript for Fante's last book, The Big Hunger. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their two children.
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I love this book and that stems largely from the fact that I love Fante. You don't have to be Catholic or ITALIAN to appreciate him. A huge thank you to Steve Cooper for putting this out in the world for everyone to enjoy.
According to Charles Bukowski, John Fante was the be all and end all of 20th century novelists. That assessment may or may not be true. But one can state with a fair degree of certainty that he was a very good writer indeed. His writing is very clear, highly evocative and consistently contains dialogue that rings true.
Much of Fante's work is very intense, uninhibited, gritty and at times disquieting. The author's Italian heritage and his Roman Catholic upbringing serve as strong influences on his work.
Recommended to readers interested in acquainting themselves with an author who was unafraid to explore some of the darker corners of his own mind.