‘The Daughters of the Moon’ by Italo Calvino, translated by Martin McLaughlin

In ‘The Daughters of the Moon’ the space race and American consumerism collide with the concept of an ageing and decrepit moon, leaving its orbit and crashing to Earth – New York’s East River, to be precise, witnessed by the goddess Diana and her acolytes. Calvino, who began writing as a neorealist, is better known for his later fabulist and metafictional works. These emerged when, instead of producing the novels he felt were expected of him, he began writing the kind of book he loved to read, one that felt as if it was ‘by an unknown writer, from another age and country, discovered in an attic.’ 

First published in the New Yorker in 2009, and available for subscribers to read here, then collected in The Complete Cosmicomics, Penguin Modern Classics, 2009

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