Dan Fante’s father was John Fante, renowned novelist about L.A. in the 30’s. Charles Bukowski considered him a major influence. Dan is a novelist and poet.
From an interview with Dan.
Dan Fante is the goddamn man. Son of the legend that is John Fante, he’s a reformed boozing drug-addicted suicidal degenerate given – these days – to turning out the kind of hardboiled no bullshit prose familiar to fans of Charles Bukowski.
The L.A. Times ran a major piece last Sunday on Dan and his father titled Where father ends and son begins.
Many consider Dan’s father the best novelist Los Angeles has ever produced. In spare, gleaming prose, John painted a city that was nasty and harsh, but also shot through with magicÃ¢â‚¬â€part land mine, part gold mine. “Los Angeles, give me some of you!” John wrote in the 1930s, while starving in a downtown flophouse.
Yet John Fante’s novels barely sold and were critically panned. He ended up writing shlock scripts for Hollywood, living in Malibu, making big money, but loathing it. He eventually drank himself to death. On the outside John Fante had it all, on the inside he was being eaten alive. Dan did not grow up easy.
Rock bottom was a rented house in Laurel Canyon. Drunk, Dan used his gun to blow holes in a mirrored wall. Afterward he was forced to see in the shot-up shards what he’d become. “When I had the gun in my mouth with the hammer backÃ¢â‚¬â€it was a pretty good indication I’d had enough fun,” he says. “I got sober and began going to meetings.”
I’ve known Dan since before he started writing, and then, sixteen years ago when he said I’m going to sit down and write for an hour a day and see what happens. That was six books ago. I watched as his books were ignored in the U.S. but started to get a following in Europe. Then the buzz started here. Today, he has two new books being released and with this big L.A. Times piece, it appears his rocket has ignited. And this is a fine thing to behold indeed.
(If you live in L.A, Dan will be doing a reading this Sunday 7 pm at Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont, between Hollywood and Franklin.)
[tags]Dan Fante,John Fante[/tags]