Friday, January 13, 2012

Italo Calvino - Hermit in Paris

Every once in a while, one comes across a book that makes one pause periodically and reflect. Hermit in Paris, a collection of essays by Italo Calvino is precisely that.

Italo Calvino is an Italian author, possibly his most well know work is 'If on a winter's night a traveller'. In this collection of essays, he takes us behind the scenes, so to say, and talks about the various experiences that have contributed to his writing.

The first half of the books talks about his time in the US in the late 1950's. And possibly the fact that his experiences so closely mirrored mine when I visited the country nearly 5 decades later could be one of the reasons why I liked this book. The author then talks about his time in Italy during and after the second World War. In between, there is a small essay about his stay in Paris, and ends wit a few interviews where he talks about his literary style and influences.

After reading the book, I couldn't agree more with the following review - 'Beautifully written...the work of an extraordinary mind, one that is worth exploring from every angle' - Independent on Sunday.

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