John Fante (John Thomas Fante) Biography
(1909–83), (John Thomas Fante), American Mercury, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, Ask the Dust, Dago Red
American novelist and short-story writer, born in Colorado; he attended a Jesuit boarding school, then Long Beach City College. His stories appeared in H. L. Mencken's American Mercury and in popular magazines throughout the 1930s. Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938) and Ask the Dust (1939) are picaresque novels featuring ‘Arturo Bandini’, an aspiring writer, the latter set amidst cheap hotels and racially mixed streets in Los Angeles. The stories in Dago Red (1940), rambunctious but with a streak of sentimentality prevalent in his work, offer boyhood angles on Catholicism, baseball, and Italian-American working-class family life. Employment as a Hollywood screenwriter, and diabetes, restricted Fante's output, though Full of Life (1952) was a commercial success. Rediscovery of his early fiction in the late 1970s, led by Charles Bukowski, encouraged the now blind author to complete The Brotherhood of the Grape (1977), Dreams of Bunker Hill (1982), The Road to Los Angeles (1985), and a volume of letters to Mencken.
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