The seedy side of life with Dan Fante

Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:27am EDT
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By Michael Taylor

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - American Dan Fante is a no holds barred author who shoots from the hip. This honest approach is not to everyone's taste.

Son of acclaimed novelist John Fante, Dan has lived through alcoholism, drug use, poverty, divorce, suicide attempts and therapy, but survived to tell the tale.

His novels, which include "Chump Change," detail the seedy underbelly to the American dream and have been compared to the legendary work of Charles Bukowski. He is a great fan of Hubert Selby Jr, author of "Last Exit to Brooklyn."

More popular in Europe than in his homeland, Fante's semi-autobiographical novels feature anti-hero Bruno Dante.

His new novel "86'd" was published this week in the United States and his other three Bruno novels will be re-published by Harper Perennial in December.

Fante, who quit school at 20 and hit the road, spoke to Reuters about his life experiences and new book:

Q: Why did it take so long for you to get published and what did you do prior to this?

A: "I didn't start to write seriously until I was 45 or 46. I'd stopped the booze for years before and was doing telemarketer work. My first novel Chump Change took me two years to write. I had to clean it up to avoid being arrested."   Continued...