Fun Facts Friday: John Fante

April 8, 2022

John Fante (8 April, 1909 – 8 May, 1983) was an American novelist, writer, and screenwriter. His semi-autobiographical novel Ask the Dust is his most famous work.

Fun Facts Friday: John Fante
Books by John Fante*

Fun Facts about John Fante:

  1. John Fante was born in Denver, Colorado. His father, Nicola, was a bricklayer and stonemason who immigrated from Italy. The author’s mother, Mary, was a devout Catholic.
  2. Unfortunately, Nicola Fante liked to drink and gamble, leaving his family in dire strait.
  3. John Fante attended several Catholic Schools around Boulder, CO. He attended the University of Colorado, but dropped out in 1929. The future novelist moved to Southern California to focus on writing.
  4. Fante didn’t publish anything until 1938. A short story, Altar Boy, was published in The American Mercury.
  5. The magazine’s editor, H. L. Mencken, helped Mr. Fante publish his first novel, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, in 1938.
  6. Arturo Bandini, a writer struggling during the Great Depression in Los Angeles served as John Fante’s alter ego in four novels, collectively known as The Bandini Quartet.
  7. Ask the Dust is considered to be the greatest Los Angeles novel. It was adapted into a movie in 2006 starring Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell.
    Wait Until Spring, Bandini was adapted in 1989.
  8. John Fante met his wife, Joyce Smart, in 1937 and they were married about six months later. The couple raised four children in Malibu, including Dan Fante, an author, and playwright in his own right.
  9. In the 1950s Mr. Fante made very good living writing screenplays which mostly went unproduced. He even admitted that most of the work he did at that time was “hackckwork” just to get paid.
  10. Poet Charles Bukowski accidentally stumbled on john Fante’s works in the Los Angeles Public Library. He suggested to Black Sparrow Press to republish the works, which created an interest in his work once more.

Books by John Fante*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I bought this book.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Fun Facts Friday: John Fante
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Fun Facts Friday: John Fante
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John Fante (8 April, 1909 – 8 May, 1983) was an American novelist, writer, and screenwriter. His semi-autobiographical novel Ask the Dust is his most famous work.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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