Young Giovanni Drogo arrives at the bleak border area of the Tartar Steppe where he is to take a short assignment at Fort Bastiani, an encampment manned by veteran soldiers who have grown old without seeing a trace of the enemy. As his length of service stretches from months into years, he continues to wait patiently for the enemy to advance across the desert. Despite, or because of, the fact that they tell him he is perfectly free to leave, he waits for one great and glorious endeavour. Internationally acclaimed since its publication in 1945, The Tartar Steppe is a provocative and frightening tale of hope, longing and the terrible sorcery of the magnificent gesture.
DINO BUZZATI (1906-1972) was an Italian editor, novelist, poet, playwright, and short story writer. He has been lauded as one of Europe's foremost experimental writers of the twentieth century. Canongate published his seminal work The Tartar Steppe in April 2007.