Letters to Vera (Hardcover)
The letters of the great writer to his wife--gathered here for the first time--chronicle a decades-long love story and document anew the creative energies of an artist who was always at work.No marriage of a major twentieth-century writer is quite as beguiling as that of Vladimir Nabokov's to Vera Slonim. She shared his delight in life's trifles and literature's treasures, and he rated her as having the best and quickest sense of humor of any woman he had met. From their first encounter in 1923, Vladimir's letters to Vera form a narrative arc that tells a half-century-long love story, one that is playful, romantic, pithy and memorable. At the same time, the letters tell us much about the man and the writer. We see the infectious fascination with which Vladimir observed everything--animals, people, speech, the landscapes and cityscapes he encountered--and learn of the poems, plays, stories, novels, memoirs, screenplays and translations on which he worked ceaselessly. This delicious volume contains twenty-one photographs, as well as facsimiles of the letters themselves and the puzzles and doodles Vladimir often sent to Vera.
About the Author
VLADIMIR NABOKOV studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin. In 1940, he left France for America, where he wrote some of his greatest works, including Lolita (1955) and Pnin(1957), while also teaching at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. After returning to Europe in 1959, he wrote Pale Fire (1962) and Ada (1969) and translated his earlier Russian novels, stories and poems into English. He died in Switzerland in 1977. OLGA VORONINA was deputy director of the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg and was the Nabokov Estate representative in Russia before receiving a PhD in Slavic languages and literatures from Harvard University. She is now assistant professor of Russian and director of the Russian and Eurasian Studies Program at Bard College. BRIAN BOYD, University Distinguished Professor of English, University of Auckland, wrote an MA thesis that Vladimir Nabokov called "brilliant" and a PhD thesis that Vera Nabokov thought the best thing written about her husband to date. His biography of Nabokov won awards on four continents; his criticism has been translated into eighteen languages. He has edited Nabokov's English-language novels, autobiography, butterfly writings, and translations from Russian poetry.