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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

Interview with Robert Towne

Interview with Robert Towne

(p.237) Interview with Robert Towne
John Fante's Ask the Dust

Nathan Rabin

Fordham University Press

In this interview, legendary Hollywood screenwriter Robert Towne explains how discovering Ask the Dust influenced his writing. The novel’s depiction of 1930s Los Angeles and the era-specific dialogue of its characters helped inform his writing of the Academy Award-winning screenplay for Chinatown (1974). Wishing to go on and adapt Ask the Dust to the screen—a process that would end up taking decades—the young Towne sought out the novel’s aging, ill, and irascible Fante, earning a hard-won friendship that in his own advancing years Towne recalls with affection.

Keywords:   American Dream, Ask the Dust, John Fante, film, Los Angeles, race, screenwriting

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