Italo Calvino, one of Italy's finest postwar writers, has delighted readers around the world with his deceptively simple, fable-like stories. He 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.
Tim Parks was born in Manchester in 1954, studied at Cambridge and Harvard, and moved to Italy in 1980, where he lectures on literary translation in Milan. His translations from the Italian include works by Alberto Moravia, Italo Calvino, Roberto Calasso and Antonio Tabucchi. His most recent novels are Europa and Destiny, while his non-fiction encompasses a collection of essays, Adultery and Other Diversions, and an academic work, Translating Style. His account of provincial life in Italy, Italian Neighbours, was an international bestseller.