John Fante’s novel “Ask the Dust” published in Persian 

January 3, 2023 - 18:42

TEHRAN – “Ask the Dust”, a novel by John Fante, has been published in Persian by Ofoq.

Originally published in 1939, the book has been translated by Hassan Shekari who has previously rendered Fante’s novels “Dreams from Bunker Hill” and “Wait Until Spring, Bandini” for Persian readers.

“Ask the Dust” is a virtuoso performance by an influential master of the twentieth-century American novel. It is the story of Arturo Bandini, a young Italian-American writer in 1930s Los Angeles who falls hard for the elusive, mocking, unstable Camilla Lopez, a Mexican waitress. 

Struggling to survive, he perseveres until at last, his first novel is published. But the bright light of success is extinguished when Camilla has a nervous breakdown and disappears… and Bandini forever rejects the writer’s life he fought so hard to attain.

Fante’s early years were spent in relative poverty. The son of an Italian-born father, Nicola Fante, and an Italian-American mother, Mary Capolungo, Fante was educated in various Catholic schools in Boulder and Denver, Colorado, and briefly attended the University of Colorado.

In 1929, he dropped out of college and moved to Southern California to concentrate on his writing. He lived and worked in Wilmington, Long Beach, and in the Bunker Hill district of downtown Los Angeles, California.

He is known to be one of the first writers to portray the tough times faced by many writers in L.A. His work and style have influenced such similar authors as “Poet Laureate of Skid Row” Charles Bukowski and influential beat generation writer Jack Kerouac. 

He was proclaimed by Time Out magazine as one of America's “criminally neglected writers.”

Photo: Front cover of the Persian edition of John Fante’s novel “Ask the Dust”.


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