Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), born in St Petersburg, exiled in Cambridge, Berlin, and Paris, became the greatest Russian writer of the first half of the twentieth century. Fleeing to the US with his family in 1940, he then became the greatest writer in English of the second half of the century, and even 'God's own novelist' (William Deresiewicz). He lived in Europe from 1959 onwards, and died in Montreux, Switzerland. All his major works - novels, stories, an autobiography, poems, plays, lectures, essays and reviews - are published in Penguin Modern Classics. Brian Boyd, University Distinguished Professor of English, University of Auckland, has long been associated with the work of Vladimir Nabokov, as annotator, bibliographer, biographer, critic, editor, translator and more. His works have appeared in nineteen languages and won awards on four continents. Anastasia Tolstoy, a junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, holds a doctorate from Oxford, where she completed a DPhil on Vladimir Nabokov and the Aesthetics of Disgust. She is the co-translator, with Thomas Karshan, of Nabokov's neo-Shakespearean blank verse drama The Tragedy of Mister Morn.
For those of us who are Vladimir Nabokov completists perhaps we finally have closure ... Now we have the full Nabokovian ex cathedra pronouncements in all their typical vim and vigour. -- William Boyd * Times Literary Supplement * Masterly, hilarious, truly insightful ... Vladimir Nabokov's views are of compelling interest - paradoxically, because he regularly insisted that his novels sent no message, made no moral case and presented no argument ... His non-fiction stands up astonishingly well. -- Philip Hensher * The Spectator * A rich treat for Nabokov's admirers. * Kirkus * The writer's genius for nailing a subject in a sentence lives on in his stinging reviews and defensive interviews. -- Christian Lorentzen * Financial Times * A fuller, and maybe truer, image of Nabokov ... The greatest pleasure in reading this book is the impression you get that you're opening your presents underneath the Christmas tree ... A lovely blend of literary elements and of personal details pertaining to Nabokov: you experience intellectual marvel when you detect the premises of a famous quote or a literary pattern, and you feel particular pleasure when you get a glimpse of the man hiding behind the famous writer and becoming suddenly relatable. -- Julie Loison-Charles * Transatlantica *