Arturo Bandini is a twenty-year-old burgeoning writer, spending his days hungry for success, life and food in a dingy hotel in Los Angeles. Full of the enthusiasm of youth, and the thrill of having one short story published, the reality of poverty and prejudice has hit him hard. He meets a local waitress, Camilla Lopez, who hopes to rise about her lot in life by marrying a wealthy American. Bandini and Camilla and embark on a strange love-hate relationship. Slowly, but inexorably, it descends into the realms of madness.
Born in Denver on 8 April 1909, John Fante migrated to Los Angeles in his early twenties. Classically out of place in a town built on celluloid dreams, Fante's literary fiction was full of torn grace and redemptive vengeance. Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938), his first novel, began the saga of Arturo Bandini, a character whose story continues in The Road to Los Angeles, Ask the Dust and Dreams from Bunker Hill - collectively known as The Bandini Quartet. Fante published several other novels, as well as stories, novellas and screenplays in his seventy-four years, including The Brotherhood of the Grape (1977) and 1933 Was A Bad Year (posthumously, 1985). He was posthumously recognised in 1987 with a Lifetime Achievement Award by PEN in Los Angeles, four years after his death from diabetes-related complications.