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Last Updated:
Aug 8, 2019
The Castle of Crossed Destinies
Italo CalvinoA 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
Le Citta Invisibili
Italo Calvino
Collection of Sand
Italo Calvino“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 fascination of a collection lies just as much in what it reveals as in what it conceals of the secret urge that led to its creation.” — from Collection of Sand

Italo Calvino’s unbounded curiosity and masterly imagination are displayed in peak form in Collection of Sand, the last of his works published during his lifetime. Here he applies his graceful intellect to the delights of the visual world, in essays on subjects ranging from cuneiform and antique maps to Mexican temples and Japanese gardens. Never before translated into English, Collection of Sand is an incisive and often surprising meditation on observation and knowledge, the difference between the world as we perceive it and the world as it is.

“Beautifully translated by Martin McLaughlin . . . To read [Collection of Sand] is to enter the presence of an exceptionally fervent and fertile mind . . . A brilliant collection that may change the way you see the world around you.” — PD Smith, Guardian
The Complete Cosmicomics
Italo CalvinoThe definitive edition of Calvino’s cosmicomics, bringing together all of these enchanting stories—including some never before translated—in one volume for the first time

In Italo Calvino’s cosmicomics, primordial beings cavort on the nearby surface of the moon, play marbles with atoms, and bear ecstatic witness to Earth’s first dawn. Exploring natural phenomena and the origins of the universe, these beloved tales relate complex scientific concepts to our common sensory, emotional, human world.

Now, The Complete Cosmicomics brings together all of the cosmicomic stories for the first time. Containing works previously published in Cosmicomics, t zero, and Numbers in the Dark, this single volume also includes seven previously uncollected stories, four of which have never been published in translation in the United States. This “complete and definitive collection” (Evening Standard) reconfirms the cosmicomics as a crowning literary achievement and makes them available to new generations of readers.

“It’s a joy to have all the cosmicomics within one cover . . . A landmark in fiction, the work of a master.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, Guardian
Cosmicomics
Italo CalvinoEnchanting stories about the evolution of the universe, with characters that are fashioned from mathematical formulae and cellular structures. “Naturally, we were all there, - old Qfwfq said, - where else could we have been? Nobody knew then that there could be space. Or time either: what use did we have for time, packed in there like sardines?” Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings
Italo Calvino
Into the War
Italo Calvino“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 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 brigades. The callow narrator of these tales observes the mounting unease of a city girding itself for war, the looting of an occupied French town, and nighttime revels during a blackout. Appearing here in its first English translation, Into the War is one of Calvino’s only works of autobiographical fiction. It offers both a glimpse of this writer’s extraordinary life and a distilled dram of his wry, ingenious literary voice.

“All three stories attest to the potentially magical, transformative space of adolescence . . . The seeds of the later Calvino — the fabulist who worked profound moral and ethical points into his narratives — are all here.” — Joseph Luzzi, Times Literary Supplement
Invisible Cities
Italo CalvinoImaginary 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 Invisible Cities, perfectly irrelevant” (Gore Vidal). Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Italian Folktales
Italo CalvinoChosen 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 the Author; illustrations. Translated by George Martin. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985
Italo CalvinoThis is the first collection in English of the extraordinary letters of one of the great writers of the twentieth century. Italy's most important postwar novelist, Italo Calvino (1923-1985) achieved worldwide fame with such books as Cosmicomics, Invisible Cities, and If on a winter's night a traveler. But he was also an influential literary critic, an important literary editor, and a masterful letter writer whose correspondents included Umberto Eco, Primo Levi, Gore Vidal, Leonardo Sciascia, Natalia Ginzburg, Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Luciano Berio. This book includes a generous selection of about 650 letters, written between World War II and the end of Calvino's life. Selected and introduced by Michael Wood, the letters are expertly rendered into English and annotated by well-known Calvino translator Martin McLaughlin.

The letters are filled with insights about Calvino's writing and that of others; about Italian, American, English, and French literature; about literary criticism and literature in general; and about culture and politics. The book also provides a kind of autobiography, documenting Calvino's Communism and his resignation from the party in 1957, his eye-opening trip to the United States in 1959-60, his move to Paris (where he lived from 1967 to 1980), and his trip to his birthplace in Cuba (where he met Che Guevara). Some lengthy letters amount almost to critical essays, while one is an appropriately brief defense of brevity, and there is an even shorter, reassuring note to his parents written on a scrap of paper while he and his brother were in hiding during the antifascist Resistance.

This is a book that will fascinate and delight Calvino fans and anyone else interested in a remarkable portrait of a great writer at work.
Marcovaldo: or the Seasons in the City
Italo Calvino
The Nonexistent Knight and The Cloven Viscount
Italo CalvinoTwo 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 Colquhoun. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
The Nonexistent Knight and The Cloven Viscount
Italo CalvinoTwo 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 Colquhoun. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
NUMBERS IN THE DARK: And Other Stories
Italo Calvino
The Road to San Giovanni
Italo Calvino“In each other’s presence we became mute, would walk in silence side by side along the road to San Giovanni. To my father’s mind, words must serve as confirmations of things, and as signs of possession; to mine, they were foretastes of things barely glimpsed, not possessed, presumed.” —from The Road to San Giovanni
 
In these autobiographical essays, published after Italo Calvino’s death, the intellectually vibrant writer not only reflects on his own past, but also inquires into the very workings of memory itself. From the title essay’s lyrical evocation of the author’s relationship with his father, and a charming account of teenage years spent in the glow of the cinema screen, to Calvino’s reminiscences of his experiences in the Italian Resistance during World War II and of his years in Paris, to his declaration of purpose as a writer in the final essay’s visionary fragments, these five “memory exercises” are heartfelt, affecting, and wise.
 
“Brimming with Calvino’s beautifully crafted prose, dry humor, and continual questioning . . . Calvino has been very well served by his translator, Tim Parks.” —Observer
Six Memos for the Next Millennium
Italo CalvinoOne of the world's best storytellers, Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities) pinpoints for future generations the universal values for literature. Here are his works, methods, intentions, and hopes.
t zero
Italo CalvinoA 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 precision and beauty” (Gore Vidal, New York Review of Books). Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Under the Jaguar Sun
Italo CalvinoThree 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 listening ear, the smelling nose. “A sumptuous small gem of a book” (Publishers Weekly). Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
The Watcher and Other Stories
Italo CalvinoThe 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 William Weaver and Archibald Colquhoun. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Why Read the Classics?
Italo CalvinoItalo Calvino was not only a prolific master of fiction, he was also an uncanny reader of literature, a keen critic of astonishing range. Why Read the Classics? is the most comprehensive collection of Calvino's literary criticism available in English, accounting for the enduring importance to our lives of crucial writers of the Western canon. Here—spanning more than two millennia, from antiquity to postmodernism—are thirty-six immediately relevant, elegantly written, accessible ruminations on the writers, poets, and scientists who meant most to Calvino at different stages of his life.

Following the title essay, which explores fourteen definitions of "the classic," Calvino offers writings that are at once critical appraisals and personal appreciations of, among others: Homer, Xenophon, Ovid, Pliny, Nezami, Ariosto, Cardano, Galileo, Defoe, Voltaire, Diderot, Ortes, Stendhal, Balzac, Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Twain, Henry James, Stevenson, Conrad, Pasternak, Gadda, Montale, Hemingway, Ponge, Borges, and Queneau.

At a time when the Western canon and the very notion of "literary greatness" have come under increasing disparagement by the vanguard of so-called multiculturalism, Why Read the Classics? gives us an inspiriting corrective.
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
ITALO CALVINO*****Introduction by Peter Washington; Translation by William Weaver