Dago Red [Signed]. John FANTE, Valenti ANGELO, stories, illustrations.

Dago Red [Signed]

New York: The Viking Press, 1940. First Edition. Fante's third book and first collection of short stories, nine of which had previously appeared in the pages of Mencken's The American Mercury between 1932-1937. The stories, some deeply autobiographical, portray the lives of working-class Italian Americans in a Colorado town, and demonstrate the reach of Catholicism into nearly every facet of daily life. The book was well-received upon publication. "After the mixed reviews of Ask the Dust, the critics were again enthusiastic. The New York Times found Fante's talent lying "over each page bright as sunlight on fresh green grass." Steinbeck himself, impressed enough to break his rule against publicizing other writers, allowed himself to be quoted: "This is a warm good book which has in it forgotten things which should not have been forgotten." And Time called Dago Red "perhaps 1940's best book of short stories" (Cooper, Stephen. Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante, pp.185-186). The book would remain out of print for over four decades, prior to Fante's work being brought to the attention of Black Sparrow Press publisher John Martin by Los Angeles poet Charles Bukowski, who boldly declared "Fante was my God." With the addition of several stories, Martin would publish the 13 stories from Dago Red in 1985 under the title The Wine of Youth. COAN, p.168; HANNA 1133. Octavo (20.75cm); blue-gray buckram, with titling and decorations stamped in maroon on spine and front cover; maroon topstain; dustjacket; [12], 211, [3]pp; illus. Signed on tipped in leaf preceding the half-title page, dated 22 days prior to publication: "John Fante / Sept.1, 1940." Decorative bookplate to front pastedown, slight forward lean, with just a hint of sunning to spine; internally fresh, with a bright, even topstain; Near Fine. Dustjacket is unclipped (priced $2.50), spine-sunned and lightly edgeworn, with a few small nicks to spine ends and lower rear panel, a 2" tear along upper rear joint, and a handful of shorter ones; touch of grubbiness and two stray ink marks to rear panel; still a quite presentable, Very Good or better example.

Price: $3,750.00

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