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Cinema, History & Politics, Italian American Issues, Literature

Calvino and the Americas

Featuring Jhumpa Lahiri, Giovanna Calvino, and a new documentary

November 17, 2023
6:00 pm

Celebrating 100 years from the birth of Italo Calvino

Calvino and the Americas

In collaboration with
Ragusa Foundation
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Click here for information on the morning event at IIC

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If on a Winter Night Calvino Could Talk to a Fellow Writer
A Conversation with Jhumpa Lahiri on Calvino’s Lesson

Jhumpa Lahiri, author, Barnard College
in conversation with
Andrea Ciccarelli, Indiana University, Ragusa Foundation

In this moderated conversation, Jhumpa Lahiri will talk about her own experience of reading Calvino in translation and in Italian; her own approach to Calvino’s imagery and style, his language, his continuous shifting between imagination and reality, as well as his significance for today’s literary and intellectual world.


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Book Presentation
Lettere a Chichita, 1962-1963
(2023, Mondadori)
The letters of Italo Calvino to his wife Chichita

Edited by Giovanna Calvino

Giovanna Calvino in conversation with
Judith Thurman, author

Calvino’s first date with Chichita, that took place in Paris in April of 1962, was one of those moments that Calvino considered central to his life’s arc, side-by-side with his participation in the Resistance, and with his work at the Einaudi publishing house. The letters he wrote to her when they barely knew each other, offers the reader a chance to discover Calvino as he gradually presents himself to the Argentine-born translator Esther Judith Singer – known as Chichita – who would become his wife in 1964.


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Italo Calvino: The Writer in the Trees
Lo scrittore sugli alberi
(2023, Documentary, Italy/France, 76 min.)
In ITALIAN with ENGLISH subtitles

Directed by Duccio Chiarini

Followed by a Q&A with the director


100 years from his birth, the adventures of one of Italy’s most important and indescribable authors is told in a documentary that takes a look at his artistic journey through the lens of one of his most celebrated works, The Baron in the Trees. The film focuses on the relationship between Calvino’s work and the historical context he worked in, and offers us a glimpse into his life thanks to archival interviews, previously unreleased footage, photographs and letters, as well as new interviews with his daughter Giovanna and other contemporary artists and intellectuals who reflect on the legacy of the celebrated author.

Follow the first two panels live here:

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