Friday, March 24, 2006

Now That's Devotion

Last night I went to Dutton's Beverly Hills where author Carolyn See introduced Stephen Cooper, the author of John Fante's biography, Full of Life. Although I'm aware of the long journey travelled to finally produce this biography, I'm still amazed at the devotion it took to write it. There are months, years even to do a thorough job, but it seems in this case, Cooper was as impressed with Fante's work 30 some years ago when he read Ask the Dust as he still is today. So much so that his work lingered in Cooper's mind for years. This is one example of the power of the written word and the effect it can have on us if we let it. While Charles Bukowski was one of the first people to declare his love of Fante, Cooper does more than that. This biography gives an honest account of John Fante's life, work and Cooper has no qualms about giving an truthful account of the kind of man he was--at home and as a writer. And lovers of Bukowski (there are many of you) should love Fante just as much, if not more for the influence he's had over so many successful writers. And for all of those writers trying to make a living at writing especially in Los Angeles, I think you'll find Fante's work to be of interest to you. If there are any newbies to the world of Fante, please do yourself a favor and read any one of his books. Better yet, begin with the John Fante Reader so you can get a taste of what he's all about. You can still catch Carolyn See (who's also a wonderful author in her own right) with Stephen Cooper at Skylight Books, April 1st. No April Fools jokes involved. I promise.

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