The John Fante Reader
It's not every day that a writer, almost unheard of in his lifetime, emerges twenty years after his death as a voice of his generation. But then again, there aren't many writers with such irrepressible genius as John Fante.
The John Fante Reader is the important next step in the reintroduction of this influential author to modern audiences. Combining excerpts from his novels and stories, as well as his never-before-published letters, this collection is the perfect primer on the work of a writer -- underappreciated in his time -- who is finally taking his place in the pantheon of twentieth-century American writers.
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.