Mr Palomar is a delightful eccentric whose chief activity is looking at things. He is seeking knowledge; 'it is only after you have come to know the surface of things that you can venture to seek what is underneath'. Whether contemplating a fine cheese, a hungry gecko, a woman sunbathing topless or a flight of migrant starlings, Mr Palomar's observations render the world afresh.
Italo Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923. He grew up in Italy. He was an essayist and journalist and a member of the editorial staff of Einaudi in Turin. In 1973 he won the prestigious Premio Feltrinelli. He died in 1985