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"We need to make books cool again. If you go home with someone & they don't have books, don't fuck 'em."--John Waters

I'm the author of more than twenty novels including SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, THE COLDEST MILE, THE MIDNIGHT ROAD, THE DEAD LETTERS, and A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN. Look for my next one THE LAST KIND WORDS due out May '12 from Bantam Books. Contact: PicSelf1@aol.com

Sunday, August 14, 2011

FANTE: A Memoir

Dan Fante grew up in the shadow of his father, John, a damaged, raging writer of great literary talent who always believed he’d sold out his genius for the easy Hollywood screenwriting check. Much like his father, Dan grew up a victim of his own chaotic emotions, driven to succeed and doomed to sabotage his accomplishments with drugs, alcohol, violence, and his own intense, unstoppable self-loathing.

In his new memoir FANTE, Dan explores his relationship with his father and examines how familial resentment and envy drove him from his hometown of Los Angeles to the mean streets of New York. He takes the reader on a harrowing, sorrowful, and detailed tour of hell, exposing the seedy and seductive side of quick cash, perverse sex, and numbing booze. His battle with drugs and alcohol brought him to the edge of suicide and madness many times over, but he always managed to make it through the storm of frenzy. Among dozens of dead-end jobs Dan also became a carny, a runner for the mob, a private eye, the owner of a booming limo company, manager of a musician, and eventually, with the help of his father’s own typewriter, a novelist.

In a fascinating and poignant fashion FANTE offers up touching lessons in passion, pain, forgiveness, acceptance, survival, and redemption. It makes for captivating and gut-wrenching reading, the kind of savagely explicit and candid prose we just don’t see enough of anymore.

Just as importantly it should reinvigorate the name of Fante so that readers will immediately seek out John Fante’s wonderful books ASK THE DUST, BROTHERHOOD OF THE GRAPE, and DREAMS FROM BUNKER HILL as well as Dan’s powerful novels CHUMP CHANGE, MOOCH, 86'D, and SPITTING OFF TALL BUILDINGS. Go now and read FANTE: A MEMOIR, and then grab everything else you can by these two wild giants of the dark heart and back alleys.

5 comments:

Cullen Gallagher said...

This sounds great. I love John Fante's books (and have read most of them). I haven't checked out Dan's books yet, but they're on my list, and I'll be sure to add this memoir now, too.

Tom Piccirilli said...

You'll dig Dan's work, Cullen. Straight-up hard knock poetry with an atmosphere of noir. Give 'em all a whirl.

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