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John Fante's Ask the DustA Joining of Voices and Views$
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Stephen Cooper and Clorinda Donato

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287864

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287864.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Writing in the Dust

Writing in the Dust

(p.201) Writing in the Dust
John Fante's Ask the Dust

Alan Rifkin

Fordham University Press

In this elegant and insightful piece of literary journalism, Alan Rifkin offers a sweeping account of how John Fante’s Ask the Dust has come to be a touchstone among contemporary writers in Los Angeles and southern California and a wellspring of the region’s literature. Combining his own personal journey as a writer of fiction and non-fiction with a survey of the works of such authors as Steve Erickson, Carolyn See, Joan Didion, Salvador Plascencia, Kate Braverman, and others, Rifkin traces a line connecting all of them to Fante’s signature work and its dreamlike image of the metropolis: “Every Los Angeles writer at the outskirts of vision feels a connection to Ask the Dust, the 1939 novel that, more than any other, seems to weep over this city’s corpse in the ecstasy of possessing it.”

Keywords:   dream, fiction, Los Angeles, memory, Southern California, vision, writing

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