Monday, November 15, 2010

Wait Until Spring, Bandini

Carnegie-Stout Public library has several novels and short-story collections by one of America's most underappreciated writers of literary fiction, John Fante (1909-1983).

Fante’s debut novel, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, is a semiautobiographical story about a young Italian American boy, Arturo Bandini, who lives in small-town, Depression-era Colorado. During "the deep days, the sad days" of a hard winter, when Arturo's out-of-work immigrant father disappears and his mother suffers a breakdown, Arturo becomes obsessed with Rosa, his beautiful classmate at Catholic school who barely acknowledges him.

When Wait Until Spring, Bandini was published in 1938, columnist Lee Shippey of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "It is a book of veracity and understanding and contains scenes no reader will ever forget ... there is a lot of heartbreak and bitterness in it." And when John Fante wrote about Arturo Bandini again in Ask the Dust in 1939, this next novel soon became known as "the greatest novel ever written about Los Angeles."

If you enjoy literary fiction but haven't heard of John Fante, or if you're just interested in a story about growing up Catholic in a small town, check out Wait Until Spring, Bandini.

~Mike, Adult Services

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