Contributions: Miriam Amico
Miriam Amico was born and raised in Sicily, where she received a master’s degree in Modern Euro-American literature and languages at the University of Palermo with a thesis on John Fante. She now lives in Los Angeles working as a library assistant at the Getty Research Institute. She also conducts research on a variety of subjects, and has cowritten, with professor Clorinda Donato, the interview essay “In Her Own Words: Caterina Salemi’s Sicilian-American Journey” published in the journal VIA: Voices in Italian Americana.
Contributions: Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski one of America’s best-known writers of poetry and prose, was born in Andernach, Germany in 1920 to an American soldier father and a German mother. Bukowski lived in Los Angeles for fifty years. He died in San Pedro, California, in 1994, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.
Contributions: Stephen Cooper
Stephen Cooper is Professor of English, California State University, Long Beach. He is the author of Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante (Angel City Press, 2005).
Contributions: Giovanna Di Lello
Giovanna Di Lello journalist (L’Espresso, Il Centro) and cultural events organizer, was born in Hamilton, Canada, to an Italian emigrant family and raised in Vevey, Switzerland. She graduated with a degree in foreign languages and literature from D’Annunzio University in Pescara, and has a master’s degree in cultural economy from Tor Vergata University, Rome. In addition to working for the secretariat of the Committee for Italians Abroad in the Senate of the Republic of Italy, chaired by Senator Claudio Micheloni, she has directed many film documentaries including John Fante: Profi lo di scrittore (2003). Since its founding fourteen years ago, she has been artistic director of the annual John Fante Festival “Il dio di mio padre” in Torricella Peligna, Abruzzo, Italy.
Edited: Clorinda Donato
Clorinda Donato is the George L. Graziadio Chair of Italian Studies at California State University, Long Beach. She co-wrote The “Encyclopédie Méthodique” in Spain.
Contributions: John Fante
John Fante (1909–1983) was the author of many novels, short stories, and screenplays. Born into a poor Italian American family in Colorado, he made his way west to Los Angeles at the start of the Depression. His experiences there would inform his best-known novel Ask the Dust (1939).
Contributions: Valerio Ferme
Valerio Ferme (PhD, comparative literature, UC Berkeley) is Dean of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. His books include Tradurre è tradire: La traduzione come sovversione culturale sotto il fascismo (Longo, 2002); Women, Enjoyment, and the Defense of Virtue in Boccaccio’s Decameron (Palgrave, 2015); and, with coauthor Norma Bouchard, Italy and the Mediterranean in the Post-Cold War Era (Palgrave, 2013). He is also coeditor of From Otium to Occupatio in Italian Culture, Annali d’Italianistica (2014) and Mediterranean Encounters in the City (2015), and cotranslator of Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean (Fordham University Press, 2012). He has published over fifty articles and reviews.
Contributions: Teresa Fiore
Teresa Fiore is the Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian American Studies at Montclair State University. She is the author of Preoccupied Spaces: Remapping Italy’s Transnational Migrations and Colonial Legacies (Fordham University Press, 2017) and editor of the 2006 issue of Quaderni del ’900, devoted to John Fante. Her numerous articles on migration to and from Italy linked to twentieth-and twenty-first-century Italian literature and cinema have appeared in Italian, English, and Spanish in both journals and edited collections. Two articles by her on new migration flows from Italy were recently published by Routledge and the University of Illinois Press in volumes about Italians in the United States.
Contributions: Daniel Gardner
Daniel Gardner is an assistant professor of English at Cerritos College where he teaches composition and literature. He earned his PhD in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2014 with a dissertation examining the interplay between popular cultural representations of the mythic American West and early twentieth-century ethnic American fiction. As a member of the UCLA Library Special Collections’ Center for Primary Research and Training, Daniel processed the John Fante Papers. He and Stephen Cooper cocurated a 2011 exhibit of items from the collection titled John Fante: A Life in the Works.
Contributions: Philippe Garnier
Philippe Garnier was born in Le Havre, France, in 1949. For twenty-nine years he worked for the French daily Libération as a cultural journalist. As a translator he has introduced many American authors in France, including Charles Bukowski, John Fante, James Ross, and James Salter. He has also interviewed many literary fi gures and film personalities on French public television. Among his seven books published in France are Honni soit qui Malibu (1996), about writers in Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s; Caractères (2006), about classic Hollywood character actors; and Freelance (2009), about magazine writer Grover Lewis. His biography of paperback writer David Goodis, Goodis: A Life in Black and White was published in 2015.
Contributions: Robert Guffey
Robert Guffey is a lecturer in the Department of English at California State University, Long Beach. His most recent book, cowritten with Gary D. Rhodes, is Bela Lugosi and the Monogram Nine. His previous books include the novel Until the Last Dog Dies (Night Shade/Skyhorse, 2017), Chameleo: A Strange but True Story of Invisible Spies, Heroin Addiction, and Homeland Security (OR Books, 2015), a collection of novellas entitled Spies and Saucers (PS Publishing, 2014), and Cryptoscatology: Conspiracy Theory as Art Form (TrineDay, 2012). He has also published short stories in the Mailer Review, Pearl, Postscripts, and the Third Alternative.
Contributions: Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared widely, from the New York Times to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as multiplatinum musicians and some of the most popular authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Contributions: Jan Louter
Jan Louter (1954) is an independent director of documentaries that are visually and conceptually both imaginative and challenging. He has portrayed writers and artists but is equally interested in social issues transcending local importance. His more than thirty films have all been broadcast in the Netherlands and most of them have screened at national and international film festivals in Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia. His documentary A Sad Flower in the Sand about John Fante had its US premiere in 2001 at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles and was awarded with a Jury Special Mention. It aired nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens in 2006.
Contributions: Chiara Mazzucchelli
Chiara Mazzucchelli is associate professor of Italian studies at the University of Central Florida. She is the author of The Heart and the Island: A Critical Study of Sicilian American Literature (SUNY Press, 2015). Her articles have appeared in Nuova Prosa, Forum Italicum, the Journal of Modern Italian Studies, the Journal of Lesbian Studies, and Italian Americana. Since 2009, she has been editor-in-chief of the semiannual peer-reviewed journal VIA: Voices in Italian Americana.
Contributions: Meagan Meylor
Meagan Meylor graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Long Beach, in 2016 with a double BA in English literature and English rhetoric and composition. An earlier draft of her essay on Camilla Lopez was submitted as her senior Honors Program thesis. She is currently a PhD student in the Literature program at the University of Southern California, where she is studying nineteenth-and twentieth-century American literature, with a focus on the literary history of Los Angeles.
Contributions: J’aime Morrison
J’aime Morrison is a professor in the Department of Theatre at California State University Northridge where she teaches theatre movement and creates interdisciplinary performances. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Lisbon, Portugal, in theatre movement. Her dance-theatre work and choreography have been performed in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Dublin, Belfast, and Lisbon. She is currently working on a new dancetheatre piece titled, When at Last. . ., inspired by Ionesco’s The Chairs.
Contributions: Nathan Rabin
Nathan Rabin is a columnist at the A.V. Club, Rotten Tomatoes, TCM Backlot, and Splitsider. He is working on a book about the video game and movie Postal and Donald Trump. He lives in Decatur, Georgia, with his family.
Contributions: Alan Rifkin
Alan Rifkin is a former Details and LA Weekly contributing editor who has also written for Premiere, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Black Clock, and the Quarterly. A finalist for both the PEN Center-USA Award in Journalism and the Southern California Booksellers’ Award in Fiction, he has led workshops in magazine writing, the short story and creative nonfiction at UCLA Extension, Santa Monica College, Chapman University, and California State University, Long Beach. He is active in the homeless ministry at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Long Beach and is the father of three children.
Contributions: Suzanne Roszak
Suzanne Roszak is assistant professor of English at East Carolina University. Her articles on transnational American literature have appeared in Studies in the Novel, Arizona Quarterly, and Children’s Literature. Her book Intersecting Diasporas: Italian Americans and Allyship in US Fiction is forthcoming from SUNY Press.
Contributions: Danny Shain
Danny Shain, who designed the cover art for John Fante’s Ask the Dust: A Joining of Voices and Views, is a native Angeleno and the grandson of John Fante’s friend and fellow Italian American writer Jo Pagano. Danny’s paintings and collages have been exhibited internationally and are in several public and private collections, including the Long Beach Museum of Art, close to the setting of his favorite line in Ask the Dust: “But, I have to smile, for the salt of the sea is in my blood, and there may be ten thousand roads over the land, but they shall never confuse me, for my heart’s blood will ever return to its beautiful source.”
Contributions: Robert Towne
Robert Towne won the Best Screenplay Academy Award for Chinatown (1974), Roman Polanski’s classic detective neo-noir set in 1930s Los Angeles. Inspired by the dialogue in John Fante’s Ask the Dust and a chapter in Fante’s friend Carey McWilliams’s Southern California Country: An Island on the Land (1946), Towne’s script is now hailed as one of the greatest in film history. His many screen credits include The Last Detail, Shampoo, The Firm, Mission Impossible, and Ask the Dust (2006), which he wrote and directed. With director David Fincher, he is developing a Chinatown prequel series for Netflix.
Contributions: Joel Williams
Joel Williams is a fifty-five-year-old Shoshone-Paiute Native American who was raised in Southern California. Incarcerated in a series of California maximum-security prisons for most of his adult life, he began reading extensively, then writing short stories. Those stories have appeared in various literary magazines, chapbooks, a collection in French translation titled Du sang dans les plumes (13E Note Editions, 2012), and in two e-books from Amazon Kindle, A House Burning and 13 Pieces! Granted parole after serving twenty-eight years, he is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture.