Marco Polo tells tales of cities that he has seen to the emperor Kublai Khan.
Calvino's now classic seventh novel is perhaps his most beautiful work. Marco Polo tells tales of cities that he has seen to the emperor Kublai Khan to distract him from the woes of the end of his empire: "Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his." So begins Italo Calvino's compilation of fragmentary urban images. 166 pages, paperback. Harvest Books (May 1978)