Myself and Marco Polo

Paul Griffiths
Date Published
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Returned from twenty years of travelling in China, Marco Polo now languishes in a Genoan prison cell. But his fellow inmate, Rustichello of Pisa, turns out to be an author of popular romances and persuades Polo to dictate his memoirs to him. The scribe listens, ignores, alters and embellishes. The consequent ironies, uncertainties, slippages between fact and fiction are the very stuff of the post-modern writer.

On first publication in 1989, it was widely praised.

‘The narrative loops are as graceful as any Arabian calligraphy … Paul Griffiths writes superbly.’ Hilary Mantel, Daily Telegraph

A thoroughly modern piece of fiction which queries the nature of authorship, readership and truth itself … Marco’s doubtful account of himself rapidly falters and falls victim to ambiguity, paradox, self-reference, wilful anachronism and parody.’ Robert Irwin, TLS


Paul Griffiths, born in Wales, has written novels, librettos and books on music. Among his many titles are The Penguin Companion to Classical Music and Olivier Messiaen and the Music of Time (also being reissued in Faber Finds).

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