It seems to me that you have completely eclipsed your father
's long shadow - and a new generation of readers have discovered your writing without necessarily having ever heard of John Fante
. How does this Feel?Dan Fante:
It always feels good to hear from people from different countries who say that my stuff has somehow touched them. That's a great gift to a writer. Consider, if you will, what a writer actually does. He sits alone in a room for months at a time - an exercise a lot like talking into a well - then hoping that in the end he has communicated something. Touched someone. Sounds a little crazy, no?
LR: How have you found your popularity here in England? And Europe on the whole? Do you feel we "get" you?
DF: In fact I think I am better understood in England and Europe than in America, oddly enough. I'm sure I get more e-mail from England and Europe than from the U.S.
LR: Is writing the most important thing in your life?
DF: Not drinking booze is the most important thing in my life. Actually the only important thing. I am 20 years without a drink. Just one little morning pick-me-up and it's all down the crapper. My whole life.
Who are, if any, your influences?DF: John Fante
of course. Then Hubert Selby Jr
. Then Tennessee Williams
and Eugene O'Neil
to some degree and also Edward Lewis Wallant.LR:
What next? Are you working on anything new?DF:
I'm just completing a new book of poems and then I will return to the novel I began last year. I'm 150 pages away from completing that.LR: