Italo Calvino

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Italo Calvino, one of Italy's finest postwar writers, has delighted readers around the world with his deceptively simple, fable-like stories. The son of traveling botanists, Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923 and raised in San Remo, Italy; he fought for the Italian Resistance from 1943-45. After taking a degree in literature from the University of Turin in 1947, Calvino supported himself by contributing to a number of Communist papers and by working on the editorial staff of the publishing house Einaudi, which he remained associated with for 35 years. He first became well known in Italy for editing Einaudi's monumental collection of Italian folk tales. In 1957, deeply disappointed by events in Eastern Europe, Calvino left the Communist party; in the years that followed, his writing gradually diverged from the dominant neorealist style and assumed its own peculiar and distinctive voice. His major works include Cosmicomics (1968), Invisible Cities (1972), and If on a winter's night a traveler (1979). During his later years, Calvino became an avid film enthusiast and renowned lecturer, traveling widely to satisfy both pursuits. He died in Siena on Sept. 19, 1985, of a brain hemorrhage.

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Italo Calvino
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Natalia Fedorova