Synopses & Reviews
“Calvino . . . managed effortlessly what no author in English could quite claim: his novels and stories and fables were both classically modernist and giddily postmodern, embracing both experiment and tradition, at once conceptual and humane, intimate and mythic.” — Jonathan Lethem, New York Times Book Review
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 fablelike qualities. A trio of gluttonous burglars invades a pastry shop; two children trespass upon a forbidden garden; a wealthy family invites a rustic goatherd to lunch, only to mock him. In the title story, a compact masterpiece of shifting perspectives, a panicked soldier tries to keep his wits—and his life—when he faces off against a young partisan with a loaded rifle and miraculous aim.
Select stories from Last Comes the Raven have been published in translation, but the collection as a whole has never appeared in English. This volume, including several stories newly translated by Ann Goldstein, is an important addition to Calvino’s legacy.
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” (Margaret Atwood). Translated by William Weaver, Peggy Wright, and Archibald Colquhoun. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
The first complete English-language edition of one of Calvino's important early short story collections.
About the Author
ITALO CALVINO’s superb storytelling gifts earned him international renown and a reputation as “one of the world's best fabulists” (New York Times Book Review). He is the author of numerous works of fiction, as well as essays, criticism, and literary anthologies. Born in Cuba in 1923, Calvino was raised in Italy, where he lived most of his life. At the time of his death, in Siena in 1985, he was the most translated contemporary Italian writer.