Last Comes the Raven

Last Comes the Raven


These early short stories brim with the beauty of the Italian countryside and seaside, telling tales both sumptuous and unnerving.

Calvino's war-torn Italy is vivid, intense, almost hyper-real. A trio of greedy burglars rob a pastry shop, a boy offers a girl presents of toads and insects from the garden, a wealthy family invites a rustic goatherd to lunch, only to mock him. In every story he reveals the hidden meaning beneath the surface of everyday life, and the ludicrousness of war.

Some stories from Last Comes the Raven have been previously available in the collection Adam, One Afternoon. This new expanded collection includes several stories newly translated by Ann Goldstein and is an important addition to Calvino's legacy.

'In Last Comes the Raven, a collection of early stories, we find the man behind the magician' New Yorker


  • In these beautifully translated stories, the quality of the writing emerges as clearly as do the ease and range of his inventiveness. Calvino's special gift is to link the physical and immediate with an allegorical timelessness. All the characters and creatures in these stories conspire to convey a feeling of the wonder, mystery and terror of life

About the author

Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino, one of Italy's finest postwar writers, has delighted readers around the world with his deceptively simple, fable-like stories. Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923 and raised in San Remo, Italy; he fought for the Italian Resistance from 1943-45. His major works include Cosmicomics (1968), Invisible Cities (1972), and If on a winter's night a traveler (1979). He died in Siena in 1985.
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