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.
"Extraordinary and wonderful. . . . Some of the most rapturous love letters anyone has ever written." --The Spectator
"A self-portrait of the young Vladimir unvarnished by Nabokovian irony. The earliest letters, intoxicated with language and desire, are intoxicating to read." --The New Yorker "It is the prose itself that provides the lasting affirmation . . . the lavishness, the freely offered gift, of his divine energy." --Martin Amis, The New York Times Book Review