John Fante: Father of the Los Angeles School, neglected son of the Lost Generation

Arjay Hinek, Fayetteville State University


The works of John Fante (1909-1983) reveal an artist caught in a particularly telling time in American history, the Great Depression. Writing in Depression-era Los Angeles, John Fante became intimately familiar with the roominghouses of Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles, using these settings as the subject matter for several of his semi-autobiographical novels. In doing so, Fante was the progenitor for what I will call the Los Angeles School. The interiors of Fante's novels, as well as those in the novels of other Los Angeles School authors, are harsh yet celebratory of impoverished solitude. This state of economic exile and its appreciation of Los Angeles' regionalism parallels the physical exile of the Lost Generation and its celebration of American regionalism. I will argue that John Fante occupies a unique position as the father of the Los Angeles school and the most neglected son of the Lost Generation.

Subject Area

Literature|American studies|American literature|Biographies

Recommended Citation

Hinek, Arjay, "John Fante: Father of the Los Angeles School, neglected son of the Lost Generation" (1996). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI1390614.