Wait Until Spring, Bandini: The Road to Los Angeles: Ask the Dust: Dreams from Bunker Hill
Possessing a style of deceptive simplicity, emotional immediacy and tremendous psychological point, among the novels, short stories and screenplays that complete his career, Fante's crowning accomplishment is the Arturo Bandini tetralogy.
This quartet of novels tell of Fante's fictional alter-ego Bandini, an impoverished young Italian-American escaping his suffocating home in Colorado for Depression-era Los Angeles. In the beginning, it is the triple weights of poverty, father and Church that Bandini struggles under but though the physical escape is complete, the psychological imprint continues as he comes to terms with love, desire and the knowledge his talent may not be recognised.
Born in Denver on 8 April 1909, John Fante migrated to Los Angeles in his early twenties. Classically out of place in a town built on celluloid dreams, Fante's literary fiction was full of torn grace and redemptive vengeance. 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 posthumously recognised in 1987 with a Lifetime Achievement Award by PEN in Los Angeles, four years after his death from diabetes-related complications.