'The most magically ingenious of the contemporary Italian novelists' The Times
Italo Calvino (Author, Introducer)
Italo Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923 and grew up in Italy. He was an essayist and journalist and a member of the editorial staff of Einaudi in Turin. One of the most respected writers of the twentieth century, his best-known works of fiction include Invisible Cities, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, Marcovaldo and Mr Palomar. In 1973 he won the prestigious Premio Feltrinelli. He died in 1985. A collection of Calvino's posthumous personal writings, The Hermit in Paris, was published in 2003.
Calvino's refusal to be glum set him apart from other modernists.
His marvellous Fifties trilogy, Our Ancestors, brought us
allegorical fables about a cloven viscount, a non-existent knight
and a baron who swings from the trees
Calvino's genius lies not so much in this tantalising conceit, but the brilliance and ingenuity with which he pulls it off...A dazzling display of literary fireworks
The writing is just breathtaking and the final story, 'The Non-Existent Knight', still sends a shiver up my spine
Italo Calvino has advanced far beyond his American and English contemporaries, as they continue to look for the place where the spiders make their nests, Calvino has not only found that special place but learnt how himself to make fantastic webs of prose to which all things adhere
Reading Calvino, you're constantly assailed by the notion that he is writing down what you have always known, except that you've never thought of it before.This is highly unnerving: fortunately you're usually too busy laughing to go mad... I can think of no finer writer to have beside me while Italy explodes, Britain burns, while the world ends