Dino Buzzati Short Stories

Dino Buzzati was an Italian writer, best known for his novel The Tartar Steppe. He also wrote many well-regarded short stories, some of which continue to show up in anthologies. Many of his stories contain elements of science fiction or fantasy, or seem symbolic or allegorical. Here are some Dino Buzzati short stories to consider.

Dino Buzzati Short Stories

“The Falling Girl”

Marta, a nineteen-year-old, let’s herself fall off a skyscraper balcony after looking at the rich, important people in the city. She doesn’t fall in real-time; she has interactions on the way down and sees others falling as well. (Summary & Analysis)

Read here

“The Colomber”

When Stefano turns twelve his father takes him aboard his ship. While they’re out sailing, Stefano spots something mysterious. His father turns pale when he sees what it is—a colomber, which is bad news for Stefano. (Summary)

Read “The Colomber”

“The Bewitched Jacket”

A man gets a referral to a little-known master tailor and has a suit made. The tailor has an unsettling effect on him and he puts off wearing the new suit when it arrives. When he finally puts it on, it’s more remarkable than he could have ever imagined. (Summary)

“Quiz at the Prison”

A large prison that houses those serving life sentences provides a special opportunity to each of its inmates. When they’re called, they get the chance to address a crowd of citizens. If they can win over the crowd they win their freedom. (Summary)

“The End of the World”

A sign appears in the sky high above a city, and the citizens know the end is coming. Many people want to make a confession while there’s still time. (Summary)

“The Elevator”

A man gets on the elevator on the thirty-first floor of his building. It descends quickly at first, picking up two more people, but then it slows considerably. He’s not sure what to make of the situation, but he doesn’t mind, because one of the other passengers is a girl he’s noticed at the building for a few months. (Summary)

“The Walls of Anagoor”

A tourist in Tibet is offered a visit to the walls of Anagoor, a legendary city that doesn’t appear on the map or in the guidebooks. He’s skeptical, but the local guide convinces him and they set out early in the morning. (Summary)


A man who’s hurrying home one night starts getting chased by a stranger. He confronts the man, who’s apologetic, but the situation doesn’t improve. (Summary)

“The Writer’s Secret”

An old writer with a ruined reputation explains the circumstances around his downfall. In his forties, he was highly regarded and admired, but the quality of his subsequent works kept deteriorating until his luster was gone. (Summary)

“The Scriveners”

The King has thousand of scriveners in a huge room who type all manner of fiction and non-fiction for his enjoyment. On rare occasions, one of the typists is singled out and required to continue working at an exhausting pace. Opinion is divided on the significance of being chosen in this way. (Summary)

“What Will Happen on October 12th?”

On a quiet evening, a professor sits by his fireplace with a book. He’s annoyed by a fly that continues to land on him. He rolls up a magazine and holds it ready to strike. It turns out the professor’s actions could have extreme consequences for humanity. (Summary)


For the past six months, an unexpected and unexplained phenomena has been affecting new-age polymers that have replaced all the commonly used materials in construction and manufacturing. Experts are at a loss to explain what’s happening and what needs to be done. (Summary)

“The Survivor’s Story”

Survivors of wars and cataclysms in distant lands are returning home. They’re happy and looking forward to being home again. They especially want to tell their many stories. (Summary)

“Human Greatness”

An old man is thrown into prison for vagrancy. He has an unusual name, Morro the Great, that his fellow prisoners think is inappropriate for him. It’s gotten him into trouble before. The other prisoners want to hear the story. (Summary)

“Personal Escort”

A boy notices a man out in a field who seems to be looking right at him. The experience opens his eyes to new possibilities, but he soon stops thinking of the man. Eventually, he reappears. (Summary)

“Seven Floors”

Giovanni Corte arrives at a sanatorium on a spring day. He only has a mild case of a particular ailment, but this is the best place for treatment. It’s a pleasant place, seven stories high and like a hotel. He is shown to a room on the top floor. When he talks to a nurse, he finds out that the floors divide residents by the severity of their illness—mild cases on the seventh floor down to hopeless cases on the first floor. (Summary)

Read “Seven Floors”

I’ll keep adding more Dino Buzzati short stories as I find them.