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Author of the Month: Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. He attended Trinity College in Cambridge studying Slavic and romance languages, earning his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin. Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. After catching his first butterfly at the age of six and collecting insects throughout childhood, Nabokov became a lifelong lepidopterist [the study of butterflies]. Between 1942 and 1948, Nabokov was a Researcher Fellow in the Harvard University Comparative Zoology department.

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE      |       AMAZON

Lolita:

Nabokov finished Lolita on 6 December 1953, five years after starting it. Because of its subject matter, Nabokov intended to publish it pseudonymously..

Lolita has banned in December of 1956 in France, England, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa for obscenity.

The name “Lolita” has entered pop culture to describe a sexually precocious girl, though Nabokov never intended to create the association. He fought with his publishers over whether an image of a girl should be included on the book’s cover.

In an interview with Life Magazine, Nabokov said, I would say that of all my books Lolita has left me with the most pleasurable afterglow—perhaps because it is the purest of all, the most abstract and carefully contrived. I am probably responsible for the odd fact that people don’t seem to name their daughters Lolita any more. I have heard of young female poodles being given that name since 1956, but of no human beings.

Other Books by Nabokov:

  9780425260937_p0_v3_s260x420   alice forgot   1466455    1282954   space-brigade-petrifying-problem-with-princess-petronella-moriarty-l-m-paperback-cover-art

Quotes:

Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece.” 
― Pale Fire

We sat and drank, each with a separate past locked up in him, and fate’s alarm clocks set at unrelated futures — when, at last, a wrist was cocked, and eyes of consorts met.” 
― Pnin

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” 
― Nabokov on writing

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September’s Book of the Month: Lolita

Your votes have been counted!

7 days of nominations!

7 days of voting!

And now we have a winner for our new book of the month.

Mocha Girl Read Book of the Month for September is Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Take a minute to see what this book and the author are all about.

Synopsis

9780679723165_custom-73821098f001c7bca124cefad545a20be024a3a0-s99-c85When it was published in 1955, Lolita immediately became a cause célèbre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov’s wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century’s novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author’s use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

Awe and exhilaration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in this account of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hyper civilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America, but most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation. With an introduction by Martin Amis.

Meet the Author

220px-Vladimir_NabokovVladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (1899– 2 July 1977) was a Russian-American novelist.  Nabokov’s first nine novels were in Russian. He then rose to international prominence as a writer of English prose. He also made serious contributions as a lepidopterist and chess composer.

Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) is his most famous novel, and often considered his finest work in English. It exhibits the love of intricate word play and synesthetic detail that characterized all his works. The novel was ranked fourth in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels; Pale Fire (1962) was ranked at 53rd on the same list, and his memoir, Speak, Memory, was listed eighth on the Modern Library nonfiction list.  He was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction seven times, but never won it.

Author’s Website       Wikipedia Page  

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Feel free to leave comments below or at Goodreads.com.  I am looking forward to hearing what you all think of this month’s selection.

Keep the pages turning.

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