“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” — from Invisible Cities
In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo — Mongol emperor and Venetian traveler.
Italo Calvino imagines a novel capable of endless mutations in this intricately crafted story about writing and readers.
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, style, ambience, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense.
“We were peering into this darkness, criss-crossed with voices, when the change took place: the only real, great change I’ve ever happened to witness, and compared to it the rest is nothing.” — from The Complete Cosmicomics
Italo Calvino’s beloved cosmicomics cross planets and traverse galaxies, speed up time or slow it down to the pa
A landmark new translation of a Calvino classic, a whimsical, spirited novel that imagines a life lived entirely on its own terms
Cosimo di Rondó, a young Italian nobleman of the eighteenth century, rebels against his parents by climbing into the trees and remaining there for the rest of his life.
Intricate interior lives are brilliantly explored in these short stories, now presented in one definitive collection as Calvino intended them
In Difficult Loves, Italy’s master storyteller weaves tales in which cherished deceptions and illusions of love—including self-love—are swept away in magical instants of recognition.
One of the New York Times’s Ten Best Books of the Year: These traditional stories of Italy, retold by a literary master, are “a treasure” (Los Angeles Times).
Filled with kings and peasants, saints and ogres—as well as some quite extraordinary plants and animals—these two hundred tales bring to life Italy’s folklore,
A collection of essays offering an extraordinary global view of Calvino’s approach to writing, reading, and interpreting literature
Reading, writing, translating; the avant-garde and tradition; the fate of the novel: these are just some of the themes of The Written World and the Unwritten World.
Marcovaldo is an unskilled worker in a drab industrial city in northern Italy. He is an irrepressible dreamer and an inveterate schemer. Much to the puzzlement of his wife, his children, his boss, and his neighbors, he chases his dreams-but the results are never the expected ones. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
An empty suit of armor is the hero in this witty novella, a picaresque gem—now available in an independent volume for the first time—that brilliantly parodies medieval knighthood.
Set in the time of Charlemagne and narrated by a nun with her own secrets to keep, The Nonexistent Knight tells the story of Agilulf, a gleaming white suit of armor with nothing insi
“One of the most rigorously presented and beautifully illustrated critical testaments in all of literature.”—Boston Globe
“A brilliant, original approach to literature, a key to Calvino’s own work and a thoroughly delightful and illuminating commentary on some of the world’s greatest writing.”—San Francisco Chronicle
In this fantastically macabre tale, the separate halves of a nobleman split in two by a cannonball go on to pursue their own independent adventures
In a battle against the Turks, Viscount Medardo of Terralba is bisected lengthwise by a cannonball. One half of him returns to his feudal estate and takes up a lavishly evil life. Soon the other, virtuous half appears.
“Just like every collection, this one is a diary as well: a diary of travels, of course, but also of feelings, states of mind, moods . . .
“The true theme of the nineteenth-century fantastic tale is the reality of what we see: to believe or not to believe in phantasmagoric apparitions, to glimpse another world, enchanted or infernal, behind everyday appearances.” — from Calvino’s introduction to Fantastic Tales
Vampires, ghosts, and other horrors abound in this collection
“All that can be done is for each one of us to invent our own ideal library of our classics.” —from Why Read the Classics?
Classics, according to Italo Calvino, are not only works of enduring cultural value, but also something much more personal: talismans, touchstones, books through which we understand our world and ourselves.
“Everybody telephones everybody at every possible moment, and nobody can speak to anybody . . .
“As for my books, I regret not having published each one under a different nom de plume: that way I would feel freer to start again from scratch each time, just as I always try to do anyway.” — from Hermit in Paris
This posthumously published collection offers a unique, puzzle-like portrait of one of the postwar era’s most inventive and mercurial w
The first complete English-language edition of one of Calvino’s important early short story collections
Blending reality and illusion with elegance and precision, the stories in this collection—one of Calvino’s earliest—take place in a World War II–era and postwar Italy tinged with the visionary and fablelike qualities that would come to d
“This book deals both with a transition from adolescence into youth and with a move from peace to war: as for very many other people, for the protagonist of this book ‘entry into life’ and ‘entry into war’ coincide.” — from the Author’s Note
These three stories, set during the summer of 1940, draw on Italo Calvino’s memories of his o
“In each other’s presence we became mute, would walk in silence side by side along the road to San Giovanni.