Italo Calvino's beloved, intricately crafted novel about an Emperor's travels—a brilliant journey across far-off places and distant memory.
“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo—Mongol emperor and Venetian traveler. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts his host with stories of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and desire, cities and designs, cities and the dead, cities and the sky, trading cities, hidden cities. As Marco Polo unspools his tales, the emperor detects these fantastic places are more than they appear.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The epic travels of explorer Marco Polo are transformed into a series of magical stories in Italo Calvino’s visionary and award-winning novel. Recounting his experiences to the ageing emperor Kublai Khan, Venetian trader Marco Polo describes 55 dazzling cities across Khan’s expansive empire. While the real Marco Polo’s travels were certainly extensive, the version of him in this tale visits imaginary metropolises that are fantastical and extravagant, from Isidora’s spiral staircases encrusted with seashells to the sight of Zirma’s girls walking pumas on leashes. Marco’s bizarre and enchanting tales of faraway places are interspersed with whimsical descriptions of his meetings with Khan. (At one point, the two sway in little hammocks while discussing the sheer beauty of the world.) If you’re in the mood for a slim, poetic book that will ignite your imagination, look no further than Invisible Cities.