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John Fante


An influential American fiction article writer and screenwriter, he’s most widely known for the Bandini Quartet publication series (1938-1985), and particularly for the quasi-autobiographical book, Ask the Dust (1939). His additional works of filthy realism include Filled with Existence (1952), The Brotherhood from the Grape (1977), and Dreams from Bunker Hill (1982). After attempting, and faltering, to obtain his stories released from the American Mercury, he finally received an approval notice for his brief tale, Altar Boy. The task was approved by editor H.L. Mencken on the problem that Fante type it up. His book, Ask the Dirt, was adapted right into a 2006 Paramount Photos feature starring Donald Sutherland, Colin Farrell, and Salma Hayek. He was created in Denver, Colorado, as the boy of the Italian immigrant dad. He briefly researched at the College or university of Colorado. His books influenced writer Charles Bukowski. Bukowski frequently likened himself to Fante’s hero, Bandini.

Quick Facts

Full Name John Fante
Date Of Birth April 8, 1909
Died May 8, 1983, Los Angeles, California, United States
Place Of Birth Denver, CO
Profession Screenwriter
Education University of Colorado Boulder
Nationality Italian, American
Children Dan Fante
Parents Nicola Fante, Mary Capolungo
Nominations Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written Comedy
Movies Ask the Dust, Walk on the Wild Side, The Reluctant Saint, Jeanne Eagels, My Man and I, Something for a Lonely Man, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, Full of Life, Youth Runs Wild, My Six Loves, The Golden Fleecing, East of the River, Maya, It's All True, Black City, Dinky
Star Sign Aries

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
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1 Once said most of his screenwriting was simply hackwork intended to make money. His contempt for the Hollywood movie industry can be found in such books as his posthumously published "West of Rome" (1986).
2 Fante contracted diabetes in 1955, which resulted in his blindness in 1978. He wrote by dictation to his wife Joyce. He died May 8, 1983, at the age of 74.
3 Fante was born in Colorado in 1909. He attended school in Boulder, later attending college at The University of Colorado and Long Beach City College. He started his writing career in 1929, publishing his first story in "The American Mercury" in 1932. He published stories in "The Atlantic Monthly", "The Saturday Evening Post", "Collier's", "Harper's" and "Esquire".
4 Black Sparrow Press' reprints brought Fante international critical and commercial success. In the 1970s and 1980s his novels were under consideration for adaption as major motion pictures. Francis Ford Coppola was set to direct a film of "Brotherhood of the Grape", adapted by Robert Towne, who had previously adapted Fante's "Ask the Dust" for the screen (Ask the Dust (2006)_). The only project to see the light of day was the failed Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1989).
5 An internationally celebrated novelist, he wrote screenplays for additional income to support his career as a writer. His novels include "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" (1938), "Ask the Dust" (1939), "Dago Red" (1940)--a collection of short stories--"Full of Life" (1952) and "The Brotherhood of the Grape" (1977). Author Charles Bukowski, greatly influenced by Fante, brought this near-forgotten author to the attention of Black Sparrow Press publisher John Martin, who brought these novels back into print, as well as Fante's last novel before his death, "Dreams From Bunker Hill" (1982). Black Sparrow published "The Road to Los Angeles" and "1933 Was a Bad Year"--two early Fante novels that had never been previously published--and Fante's selected stories, "The Wine of Youth", in 1985. In 1986 two novellas were published as "West of Rome". Black Sparrow has also published "John Fante & H.L. Mencken: A Personal Correspondance" (1989) and "Selected Letters 1932-1981" (1991).



Ask the Dust 2006 novel
Wait Until Spring, Bandini 1989 novel
Something for a Lonely Man 1968 TV Movie
Maya 1966
Insight 1964 TV Series written by - 1 episode
The Richard Boone Show 1963 TV Series writer - 1 episode
My Six Loves 1963 screenplay
The Reluctant Saint 1962
Going My Way 1962 TV Series story - 1 episode
Walk on the Wild Side 1962 screenplay
Lux Playhouse 1959 TV Series story - 1 episode
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse 1959 TV Series story - 1 episode
Jeanne Eagels 1957 screenplay
Full of Life 1956 based on his novel / screen play
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre 1956 TV Series teleplay - 1 episode
My Man and I 1952 written by
Youth Runs Wild 1944 screenplay / story
East of the River 1940 story "Mama Ravioli"
The Golden Fleecing 1940 based upon an original story by
Dinky 1935 story

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1957 WGA Award (Screen) Writers Guild of America, USA Best Written American Comedy Full of Life (1956)

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