The story of the hard-living L.A. writer as we know it was born in the early 1900s with John Fante. The novelist, best known for his 1939 novel Ask the Dust, painted an unashamed portrait a struggling young writer in his four-novel Bandini Quartet, a series that followed Fante’s semi-autobiographical Arturo Bandini character. He explored God, women, booze and the cruel majesty that is L.A., establishing himself as one of the City of Angels’ most beloved scribes.
In true Bandini style, Fante’s greatness was recognized much later in his life with some help from another down-and-out L.A. writer, Charles Bukowski, who went so far as to say “Fante was my God” in his introduction for Ask the Dust. The novel was later adapted for the big screen in 2006 with Colin Farrell in the lead role.
In honor of Fante’s birthday, we picked eight quotes from what the masses have dubbed his best novel. Check out some of our favorite quotes above, and share your own in the comments section.