Adler, Sara. Calvino: The Writer as Fablemaker. Potomac, Md.: Ediciones José Porrúa Turanzas, 1979. Provides a valuable introduction to the themes, techniques, and images of Calvino’s works. Presents the author as an explorer on fabulous, sometimes horrifying, journeys who provides rich, mythical perspectives on the world.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Italo Calvino. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2001. Collection gathers eight previously published essays about Calvino’s work written by Gore Vidal, Seamus Heaney, and other authors and arranged in chronological sequence. Includes an introduction by Bloom.
Bolongaro, Eugenio. Italo Calvino and the Compass of Literature. Toronto, Ont.: University of Toronto Press, 2003. Examines five of Calvino’s early works, written between 1948 and 1963, demonstrating how they meditate on the role of the intellectual and on the ethical and political dimensions of literature.
Cannon, JoAnn. Italo Calvino: Writer and Critic. Ravenna, Italy: Longo Editore, 1981. A good introduction, with chapters on Calvino’s longer fiction and a bibliography.
Carter, Albert Howard, III. Italo Calvino: Metamorphoses of Fantasy. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, 1987. Masterful analysis of Calvino the fantasist explores his contribution to what is possible in literature by analyzing his use of the contrafactual realms of imagination, speculation, and hypothesis. Includes an excellent bibliography.
Fenwick, Julie. “Sex, Language, and Narrative Continuity and Discontinuity in Italo Calvino’s ‘Meiosis.’” Studies in Short Fiction 27 (Spring, 1990): 203-209. Shows how Calvino’s story is post-structuralist in that the essential self disappears before the narrator’s speculations, just as the essential text disappears under poststructuralist criticism. Asserts Calvino’s characters are...