Writer, essayist, and journalist, Italo Calvino was born in 1923 in Cuba, of Italian parents. He spent his early years in San Remo, and studied at Turin, where he worked as a publisher. His first novel, The Path to the Nest of Spiders (1947), described resistance against Fascism in a highly naturalistic manner. Calvino's whimsical and imaginative fables made him one of the most important Italian fiction writers in the 20th century. He died in 1985.