Fante's work revolves a lot around his Italian peasant/craftsman descendance and the world that such personal history implied in western USA as from the thirties. He was born in 1909 and died (of diabetes) in 1983.The conflict-ridden, crazily passionate family relationships of Italian families are recurrent themes, as well as his immediate surroundings in and around LA. His writing is concise, strongly emotive and, to me, brilliantly visual. Not too surprising since he earned much of his living as a script-writer.
This Italian family background with all its messy, hysterical and destructive aspects, and especially the conflictual father-son relationship, forms the whole theme of The Brotherhood of Grape. Fante manages to build this story into a deeply moving work in which full catharsis only comes through the death of the father (of guess what?: diabetes through too much booze).
Fante's writing is punchy and gloriously descriptive, and at times farcically funny. And his works are always short and powerful. Give them a try, and you won't regret the experience.
Read on....Bibliography of John Fante (thanks to Wiki)
- The Road to Los Angeles (1933, publ.1985)
- Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938)
- Ask the Dust (1939)
- Dago Red (1940), short story collection
- Full of Life (1952)
- The Brotherhood of the Grape (1977)
- Dreams from Bunker Hill (1982)
- The Wine of Youth: Selected Stories (posthumously, 1985), Dago Red and short story collection
- 1933 Was a Bad Year (post., 1985; incomplete)
- West of Rome (post., 1986), two novellas
- Fante/Mencken: John Fante & H.L. Mencken: A Personal Correspondence, 1932-1950 (post., 1989), letters
- John Fante: Selected Letters, 1932-1981 (post., 1991), letters
- The Big Hunger: Stories, 1932-1959 (post., 2000), short story collection