Wait Until Spring, Bandini

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The first novel to be published in John Fante’s semi-autobiographical “Bandini Quartet,” Wait Until Spring, Bandini remains Fante’s most tender work. Through the outsider eye of his alter ego, Arturo Bandini, John Fante revolutionized the way we write; the thoughtful immediacy of his wild, poignant prose directly influenced later Angeleno writers like Charles Bukowski and Robert Towne. Fante’s Bandini novels are wonderful examinations, almost confessions, of his early days in Los Angeles and his Italian American identity in the Western United States in the 1930s.

Here, in the only Bandini novel not set in Los Angeles, Fante takes us back to his childhood among his immigrant family in a small, frozen Colorado town. We meet Bandini’s cruel, yet somehow sympathetic father and his sad, stubborn mother, as we witness the development of the sense of guilt and otherness that run throughout his literary work. Wait Until Spring, Bandini is Fante’s sweet rumination on a childhood he knows can be romanticized only so far, and serves as a perfect introduction to the world of one of the most influential and original, yet unheralded, voices of the 20th century.

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