Italo Calvino
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1974; originally published 1972 (in Italian), English
ISBN: 9780151452903

Imaginary conversations between Marco Polo and his host, the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, conjure up cities of magical times.

On 10 book lists
James Biber

A beautiful tale of all cities and one city. I feel as though I live in one of them though (spoiler alert) Venice is a wonderful punch line.

Aric Chen

One of the most profound and inspired literary examinations of the city: its possibilities and how we might read, understand and imagine it.




Craig Dykers

A lovely insight into the imagination’s role in the image of the city.

Jeanne Gang

While today’s oftentimes banal cities multiply and grow at dizzying rates, this book becomes all the more relevant for helping us imagine their untapped potential.

Prem Krishnamurthy

An endlessly permutational book, as well as the most appropriate use of the typeface Buster in print; the first English edition of Invisible Cities makes the font look like a bespoke creation for this very volume.


Juhani Pallasmaa

Calvino and the entire Oulipo Group are engaged in fundamental issues of architecture. Invisible Cities opens up poetic views to an imaginary urbanity.

David Piscuskas

I read Invisible Cities and Ficciones as a young student. Both authors immerse themselves into fantastic and supernatural places, always of import.

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