Book List in Order: 29 titles

  • Blending reality and illusion with elegance and precision, the stories in this collection take place in a World War II-era and postwar Italy tinged with the visionary and fable-like qualities. A trio of gluttonous burglars invades a pastry shop; two ...




  • Italo Calvino’s beloved cosmicomics cross planets and traverse galaxies, speed up time or slow it down to the particles of an instant. Through the eyes of an ageless guide named Qfwfq, Calvino explores natural phenomena and tells the story of the o...


  • These three stories, set during the summer of 1940, draw on Italo Calvino’s memories of his own adolescence during the Second World War, too young to be forced to fight in Mussolini’s army but old enough to be conscripted into the Italian youth b...


  • A fantasy about a nobleman bisected into his good and evil halves....


  • A parody of medieval knighthood told by a nun....


  • Viscount Medardo is bisected by a Turkish cannonball on the plains of Bohemia; Baron Cosimo, at the age of twelve, retires to the trees for the rest of his days; Charlemagne's knight, Agiluf, is an empty suit of armour. These three vivid images are t...


  • “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’...






  • Italo Calvino was only twenty-three when he first published this bold and imaginative novel. It tells the story of Pin, a cobbler''s apprentice in a town on the Ligurian coast during World War II. He lives with his sister, a prostitute, and spends as...


  • A series of short, fantastic narratives inspired by fifteenth-century tarot cards and their archetypical images. Full-color and black-and-white reproductions of tarot cards. Translated by William Weaver.A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book...


  • For the first time in paperback--a volume of thirty-seven diabolically inventive stories, fables, and "impossible interviews" from one of the great fantasists of the 20th century, displaying the full breadth of his vision and wit.  Written between ...


  • In five elegant autobiographical meditations Calvino delves into his past, remembering awkward childhood walks with his father, a lifelong obsession with the cinema and fighting in the Italian Resistance against the Fascists. He also muses on the soc...


  • Mr. Palomar is a delightful eccentric whose chief activity is looking at things. He is seeking knowledge; 'it is only after you have come to know the surface of things that you can venture to seek what is underneath'. Whether contemplating a fine che...


  • This is an account of the universe as a cosmic joke, surreal random fiction. Ofwfq is like matter - he can be neither created nor destroyed. In 1000 diverse shapes and peculiar forms he has fitted, spiralled and plodded through every strange change o...


  • Italo Calvino's debut novel, first published in 1947, tells the story of Pin, a cobbler's apprentice in a town on the Ligurian coast during World War II. He lives with his sister, a prostitute, and spends as much time as he can at the lowlife bar whe...


  • This collection of playful, deadly fables is populated with waifs and strays, a gluttonous thief and a mischievous gardener. The grimly comic story "The Argentine Ant" moved Gore Vidal to declare 'if this is not a masterpiece of twentieth-century pro...


  • Chosen as one of the New York Times’s ten best books in the year of its original publication, this collection immediately won a cherished place among lovers of the tale and vaulted Calvino into the ranks of the great folklorists. Introduction by th...


  • Three senses-taste, hearing, and smell-dominate the lives of the characters in these witty, fantastical stories. But the senses, promising the fulfillment of desire and an exit from the self, only lead back to their source: the savoring palate, the l...






  • Italo Calvino, one of the world's best storytellers, died on the eve of his departure for Harvard, where he was to deliver the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures in 1985-86. Reticent by nature, he was always reluctant to talk about himself, but he welcom...


  • Tales of love and loneliness in which the author blends reality and illusion. “The quirkiness and grace of the writing, the originality of the imagination at work,...and a certain lovable nuttiness make this collection well worth reading” (Margar...


  • 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 resul...


  • 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...


  • Cosimo, a young eighteenth-century Italian nobleman, rebels by climbing into the trees to remain there for the rest of his life. He adapts efficiently to an arboreal existence and even has love affairs. Translated by Archibald Colquhoun. ...


  • Two novellas: the first, a parody of medieval knighthood told by a nun; the second, a fantasy about a nobleman bisected into his good and evil halves. “Bravura pieces... executed with brilliance and brio”(Chicago Tribune). Translated by Archibald...


  • A collection of stories about time, space, and the evolution of the universe in which the author blends mathematics with poetic imagination. “Calvino does what very few writers can do: he describes imaginary worlds with the most extraordinary preci...


  • The three long stories in this volume show the range and virtuosity of Italy’s most imaginative writer. “Like Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez, Italo Calvino dreams perfect dreams for us” (John Updike, New Yorker).Translated by Wi...


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    Imaginary conversations between Marco Polo and his host, the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, conjure up cities of magical times. “Of all tasks, describing the contents of a book is the most difficult and in the case of a marvelous invention like Invi...


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