Invisible Cities is an exquisite book, fantastical and glittering and strange. Marco Polo and Kublai Khan sit together in a garden in the evening, and Marco Polo regales Khan with tales of cities he has encountered — cities of trade, of water, of sand, and also cities of the dead, of the mad, of dreams. Calvino's brilliant, quicksilver mind is on full display here, mapping the desires and fears of our human condition onto an ever-shifting landscape. Recommended By Jill O., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"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. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts his host with stories of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and desire, cities and designs, cities and the dead, cities and the sky, trading cities, hidden cities. As Marco Polo unspools his tales, the emperor detects these fantastic places are more than they appear.
"Invisible Cities changed the way we read and what is possible in the balance between poetry and prose . . . The book I would choose as pillow and plate, alone on a desert island." Jeanette Winterson
"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, The New York Review of Books
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.