UCLA Library Special Collections welcomed a standing room only crowd on March 10 for the 2011 Bonnie Cashin Lecture by Prof. Stephen Cooper, author of Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante.
The talk, The Road to John Fante’s Los Angeles: A Biographer Reflects, told the story of the twenty-four year old Cooper’s discovery of the work of John Fante (1909-1983), which happened when he stumbled on a copy of Ask the Dust in a second-hand bookshop. Cooper’s ensuing years of research on the once-forgotten author gained him the trust of Fante’s widow Joyce, who ultimately gave Cooper access to her husband’s papers, along with her blessing to tell the story of his life and work.
Cooper’s work has served to create a remarkable afterlife for Fante as a central figure in the literary identity of Los Angeles, and was instrumental in leading to the 2009 acquisition of Fante’s papers by UCLA Library Special Collections, where they are now preserved and available for research.
The lecture was held in conjunction with the opening of an exhibit of highlights from the Fante archive. John Fante: A Life in the Works, curated by Daniel Gardner, will be on view through June 2011 in the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections.
Fashion designer Bonnie Cashin was a pioneer of American sportswear and one of the most innovative American designers of her time. Her legacy to the UCLA Library includes her archive, the Bonnie Cashin Collection of Fashion, Theater, and Film Costume Design, and the endowed Bonnie Cashin Lecture Series, bringing gifted individuals from varied creative pursuits to UCLA Library Special Collections to celebrate the creative process and to preserve the legacy of Cashin’s remarkable life and work.
- View the 2011 Cashin Lecture on YouTube
- Visit the Bonnie Cashin archive
- See event photos, courtesy of Salvador Zapien.