I had somehow discovered Ask the Dust not long ago, and I quickly fell in love with the writing of John Fante. It was like meeting someone accidentally and realizing that this is the one person you have waited your whole life to meet, that you never want to be apart from them, that you could stay up for days on end, just to be with them, talk to them about anything and everything. That was how Fante's writing made me feel. Sadly, the book disappeared somewhere in the depths of my house before I finished reading it, and I can't find it anywhere. So I had to find something else. During a late-night book binge, I had acquired Full of Life, and left it in the middle of another pile of books that has slowly been taking over my kitchen table. That was weeks ago.
It was early this morning while drinking my tea and eating a bowl of berries that some impulse led me to reach into that pile of books and grab Full of Life. Time seemed to slip away from me; I looked up as if in a daze and realized I would be late for work. When I read Fante I feel as thought I can never get enough, and I cannot stop, nor would I wish to. Either it is a novel written as a autobiography, or it is autobiography written as a novel. I can't tell. It doesn't really matter.
On the surface it is a simple story, a young couple, their crumbling old house. But the language is so alive and clear and free, the way Fante uses words, that it is beautiful to read. And I am in love all over again.