If On A Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

If On A Winter's Night a Traveler, Italo Calvino, 1979, novel


If on a winter's night a traveler (Italian: Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore) is a 1979 novel by the Italian writer Italo Calvino. The postmodernist narrative, in the form of a frame story, is about the reader trying to read a book called If on a winter's night a traveler. Each chapter is divided into two sections. The first section of each chapter is in second person, and describes the process the reader goes through to attempt to read the next chapter of the book he or she is reading. The second half is the first part of a new book that the reader ("you") finds. The second half is always about something different from the previous ones.

The Telegraph included the novel in 69th place in a list of "100 novels everyone should read" in 2009, describing it as a "playful postmodernist puzzle".

Sting named his 2009 album If on a Winter's Night... after the book.


Originally published June 2, 1979
Author Italo Calvino
Characters Silas Flannery, Hermes Marana, Lotaria, Professor Uzzi-Tuzii, Cavedagna, Irnerio, Ludmilla, You, Professor Galligani
Genres Novel, Fiction, Postmodern literature
Original language Italian Wikipedia