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In Invisible Cities Marco Polo conjures up cities of magical times for his host, the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, but gradually it becomes clear that he is actually describing one city: Venice. As Gore Vidal wrote 'Of all tasks, describing the contents of a book is the most difficult and in the case of a marvellous invention like Invisible Cities, perfectly irrelevant.'
Italo Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923. He grew up in Italy. He was an essayist and journalist and a member of the editorial staff of Einaudi in Turin. In 1973 he won the prestigious Premio Feltrinelli. He died in 1985.