Into the War, by Italo Calvino

Into the War, by Italo Calvino

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These three stories, set during the summer of 1940, draw on Italo Calvino’s memories of his own adolescence during the Second World War, too young to be forced to fight in Mussolini’s army but old enough to be conscripted into the Italian youth brigades.

The callow narrator of these tales observes the mounting unease of a city girding itself for war, the looting of an occupied French town, and nighttime revels during a blackout. Into the War is a work of autobiographical fiction, offering a glimpse of this writer’s extraordinary life and a distilled dram of his wry, ingenious literary voice.

“All three stories attest to the potentially magical, transformative space of adolescence . . . The seeds of the later Calvino — the fabulist who worked profound moral and ethical points into his narratives — are all here.” - Times Literary Supplement