The Nonexistent Knight by Italo Calvino

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The Nonexistent Knight by Italo Calvino
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The Nonexistent Knight by Italo Calvino

An empty suit of armor is the hero in this witty novella, a picaresque gem—now available in an independent volume for the first time—that brilliantly parodies medieval knighthood.

Set in the time of Charlemagne and narrated by a nun with her own secrets to keep, The Nonexistent Knight tells the story of Agilulf, a gleaming white suit of armor with nothing inside it. A challenge to his honor sends Agilulf on a search through France, England, and North Africa to confirm the chastity of a virgin he saved from rape years earlier. In the end, after many surprising turns of plot, the nun’s closing confession draws this sparkling novella to a perfect finish.

The Nonexistent Knight by Italo Calvino is one of Salman Rushdie’s favorite books.