Originally published in 1969, Fat City is an American classic whose stature has increased over the years. Made into an acclaimed film by John Huston, the book is set in and around Stockton, California.
Leonard Gardner was born in Stockton. His writing has appeared in The Paris Review, Esquire, Southwest Review, and other magazines. His screen adaptation of Fat City was made into a film by John Huston. A Guggenheim Fellow, he lives in northern California.
"The book reveals a vision of a whole stratum of American life which up to now has been more often sentimentalized, exploited, patronized and feared by even those writers who come from it and know it best. . . . The pathetic and yet not ignoble hopes of the boxers, the dead weight of pointless labor, the fragile wisps of feeling fluttering mothlike around people too timid to love and too lonely not to try."—Frank Conroy
"He has got it exactly right—the hanging around gas stations, the field dust, the relentless oppressiveness of the weather, the bleak liaisons sealed on levees and Greyhound buses. . . .Fat City affected me more than any new fiction I've read in a long while."—Joan Didion