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About the book
  • Published: 6 July 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141189734
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $29.00
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The Path To The Spiders' Nests


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Pin is a bawdy, adolescent cobbler's assistant, both arrogant and insecure who - while the Second World War rages - sings songs and tells jokes to endear himself to the grown-ups of his town - particularly jokes about his sister, who they all know as the town's 'mattress'. Among those his sister sleeps with is a German sailor, and Pin dares to steal his pistol, hiding it among the spiders' nests in an act of rebellion that entangles him in the adults' war.
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.
Martin L. McLaughlin is Professor of Italian and Fiat-Serena Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Oxford where he is a Fellow of Magdalen College. In addition to his published academic works he is the English translator of Umberto Eco and Italo Calvino among many others.

  • Pub date: 6 July 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141189734
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $29.00

About the Author

Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923 and grew up in Italy. He was an essayist and journalist and a member of the editorial staff of Einaudi in Turin. One of the most respected writers of the twentieth century, his best-known works of fiction include Invisible Cities, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, Marcovaldo and Mr Palomar. In 1973 he won the prestigious Premio Feltrinelli. He died in 1985. A collection of Calvino's posthumous personal writings, The Hermit in Paris, was published in 2003.

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