In his acclaimed work Danube, Claudio Magris painted a vast canvas stretching from the source of the river to the Black Sea. Now he focuses on the tiny borderlands in Istria and Italy, where he was born and where he has lived most intensely. From the forests of Monte Nevoso to the hidden valleys of the Tyrol to a Trieste café, Microcosms pieces together a mosaic of stories -- comic, tragic, picaresque, nostalgic -- from life's minor characters. Their worlds might be small, but they are far from minimalist: in them flashes the great, the meaningful, the unrepeatable significance of every existence. Magris is a profoundly original modern writer. With its illuminating, elegant prose, Microcosms, like Danube, is destined to become a classic of travel literature.