Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

In addition to his novels, John Gregory Dunne produced a distinguished body of nonfiction, including a memoir, Harp (1989), and other personal and autobiographical essays. One of his primary subjects was Hollywood, the focus of both The Studio (1969) and Monster: Living off the Big Screen (1997). His first book, Delano: The Story of the California Grape Strike (1967, revised 1971), reflects his early career in journalism. He combined his talents as autobiographer and reporter in Vegas: A Memoir of a Dark Season (1974), which recounts a time of crisis in his marriage and in his writing career, set in the milieu of a stunning cast of characters who thrive in the mecca of legal gambling. Dunne’s travel writing is featured in Crooning (1990), a collection of essays that also contains a number of his reflections on Hollywood, the American West, and politics. Quintana and Friends (1978), another collection of essays, is autobiographical (Quintana is the name of his adopted daughter) and focuses on his personal account of moving from his roots in the eastern United States to a career as a Hollywood screenwriter. Uniting much of Dunne’s fiction and nonfiction are his concerns with his Irish background and sensibility as well as the world of urban crime and scandal and the role of institutions such as the family, the Roman Catholic Church, politics, and the entertainment industry. Regards: The Selected Nonfiction of John Gregory Dunne (2006) includes several essays published in the last fifteen years of his life and previously uncollected in book form, as well as his 1996 Paris Review interview.