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Carlo Emilio Gadda (1893—1973) was born in Milan, where he spent a “tormented childhood and even more miserable adolescence.” He earned a degree in engineering, volunteered to fight in World War I, and was taken prisoner by the Germans. After the war, Gadda began to write while working as an engineer in countries as far afield as Argentina. Among Gadda’s other books are a novel, Acquainted with Grief, and his War and Prison Journals.
Italo Calvino (1923—1985) was an Italian writer and novelist. His works include Numbers in the Dark, The Road to San Giovanni, Six Memos for the Next Millennium, The Baron in the Trees, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, Invisible Cities, Marcovaldo, and Mr. Palomar.
William Weaver is celebrated for his numerous translations from the Italian, including Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose and novels and stories by Italo Calvino. Weaver's translation of Pirandello's The Late Mattia Pascal is also published by NYRB Classics.