John Fante Ask the Dust

ISBN 13: 9780876854433

Ask the Dust

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9780876854433: Ask the Dust
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Fiction. John Fante was born in Colorado in 1909 and began writing in 1929. He published numerous short stories, novels and screenplays in the following decades. ASK THE DUST, a coming-of-age novel set in Los Angeles, was first published in 1939. Says Charles Bukowski, in the preface to ASK THE DUST, of his first encounter with Fante's work, "Then one day I pulled a book down and opened it, and there it was. I stood for a moment, reading. Then like a man who had found gold in the city dump, I carried the book to a table. The lines rolled easily across the page, there was a flow. Each line had its own energy and was followed by another like it. The very substance of each line gave the page a form, a feeling of something carved into it. And here, at last, was a man who was not afraid of emotion. The humour and the pain were intermixed with a superb simplicity ... that book was a wild and enormous miracle to me." John Fante died in 1983.

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Review:

This book is another sterling recommendation from the Saltzman workshop. The under-appreciated Fante's second outing details the adventures of his alterego, Arturo Bandini, as the struggling young writer tackles Los Angeles in the late 1930s. And take it from personal experience, tackling L.A. as a destitute young scribe some decades later isn't much different. In other words: Fante gets it right and sets it down in his Chianti-steak-and-potatoes style, with prose both simple and rich. This Black Sparrow edition has a bonus: Charles Bukowski's great preface on how Fante stacks up against writers that were at once more famous--and far more anemic.

About the Author:

John Fante was born in Denver on 8 April 1909 and migrated to Los Angeles in his early twenties. Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938), his first novel, began the saga of Arturo Bandini, a character whose story continues in The Road to Los Angeles, Ask the Dust and Dreams from Bunker Hill - collectively known as The Bandini Quartet. Fante published several other novels, as well as stories, novellas and screenplays, in his seventy-four years, including The Brotherhood of the Grape (1977) and 1933 Was A Bad Year (posthumously, 1985). He was recognised in 1987 with a PEN Lifetime Achievement Award in Los Angeles, four years after his death.

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