In Calabria

From the acclaimed author of The Last Unicorn comes a new, exquisitely-told fable for the modern age.Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry to the company of others. But one chilly morning, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences. Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria confirms Peter S. Beagle’s continuing legacy as one of fantasy’s most legendary authors.

Advance praise for In Calabria

A Top 10 Publishers Weekly Spring 2017 Featured Title

[STARRED REVIEW] “Acclaimed fantasist Beagle (Summerlong) sets this charming, lyrical tale of unicorns and love on a poor little hillside farm in the toe of boot-shaped Italy, where 47-year-old Claudio Bianchi scratches out a meager existence for himself, old dog Garibaldi, goat Cherubino, three cows, a pig, and three cats. Claudio writes poetry, too, and one day a golden-white unicorn appears to him as a gentle reminder of the freedom animals and humans have lost. The unicorn becomes the one miracle of Claudio’s life—and the ultimate tourist attraction. He protects her as best he can from hordes of reporters, television crews and helicopters, animal rights activists, yearning yokels, and even the Calabrian ’Ndràngheta mob. After Claudio helps the unicorn deliver her colt, his heart, frozen by an earlier tragedy, warms to Giovanna, the intrepid 20-ish sister of the postman. Neatly playing the strictures of Claudio’s simple rural life against the shimmering wildness of the unicorn, Beagle’s kindly fable shows how a man who seems to have nothing can really have everything—with just a touch of magic.”
Publishers Weekly

“A novella about love in a world of hardship, loss, magic, and recovery. Beagle’s unicorns have never been more bewitching, impossible, and genuine. I cherished every page.”
—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and After Alice 

“For me, Peter S. Beagle is one of the essential voices in American literature, so essential that I approach each new book he writes not only with excitement but also with trepidation. Can he possibly do it again? Today I read In Calabria from cover to cover. He does it again.”
—Kevin Brockmeier, bestselling author of The Brief History of the Dead

“Peter S. Beagle is a master of the magical, but also of the little details of day to day existence that root his characters in the soil, sweat and everyday breezes of their worlds, and make the magical all the more magical when it touches them. It’s deep and powerful magic that stirs things to life in the gentle fable of In Calabria, but what it stirs—greed, peril, beauty, grief, love, publicity, sorrow, poetry and more—are very much matters of the human heart. Beagle once again explores the magic within us and the magic around us, and does it in unmatched style.”
—Kurt Busiek, author of Astro City and The Avengers

 “Peter Beagle weaves his trademark magic deep in the Italian countryside, using threads of the everyday and the fantastical: poetry and pigs, Mafia bosses and terrible beauty, love and rage, the sacred born of the profane. In Calabria holds the power to transform, like the touch of the unicorn at its heart.”
—Laurie R. King, author of the Mary Russell series (The Beekeeper’s Apprentice)

“What a wondrous gift it is to have a new unicorn story from Peter S. Beagle! In Calabria is both elegant and earthy, with a slow build of wonder, and then tension, and then growing dread that propels the reader inexorably toward the miraculous conclusion. Once again Peter Beagle demonstrates why he is one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time!”
—Bruce Coville, author of The Unicorn Chronicles

In Calabria is a gorgeous story shaped with elegant prose and stunning imagery . . . It is a unicorn story. It is a coming of age story. It is a story of forgiveness and a story of love. In Calabria will speak to each and every reader that ventures through its pages.
So Many Books, So Little Time

“Beauty, imagination, poetry and magic . . . Beagle has that rare gift – the ability, within just a few words, to transport the reader completely into his universe, making the unfamiliar become vividly real. 10/10 stars.”

 “This is a lovely story and well worth a read.”

“Magical realism at its best, In Calabria is a modern incarnation of the unicorn fable! Lyrical and sweet, Beagle’s elegant prose reinforces the quiet joy of an old man’s attempt to capture the impossible magic of a moment through poetry.”
Read Well

“It is truly a romantic tale of love and loss and how hope never really abandons us.”
Nerds of a Feather

In Calabria is a lovingly crafted paean to redemption.”
Green Man Review


Peter S. Beagle is the best-selling author of The Last Unicorn, which has sold a reported five million copies since its initial publication in 1968. His other novels include A Fine & Private Place, The Innkeeper’s Song, and Tamsin. His short fiction has been collected in four volumes by Tachyon Publications, including The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche, The Line Between, We Never Talk About My Brother, and Sleight of Hand. He has won the Hugo, Nebula, Mythopoeic, and Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire awards and the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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