By Stacy Schiff


Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for biography and hailed by way of critics as either “monumental” (The Boston Globe) and “utterly romantic” (New York magazine), Stacy Schiff’s Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) brings to shimmering existence one of many maximum literary love tales of our time. Vladimir Nabokov—the émigré writer of Lolita; faded Fire; and Speak, Memory—wrote his books first for himself, moment for his spouse, Véra, and 3rd for nobody at all.

“Without my wife,” he as soon as famous, “I wouldn’t have written a unmarried novel.” Set in prewar Europe and postwar the US, spanning a lot of the century, the tale of the Nabokovs’ fifty-two-year marriage reads as vividly as a singular. Véra, either attractive and magnificent, is its oversized heroine—a lady who loves as deeply and intelligently as did the good romantic heroines of Austen and Tolstoy. Stacy Schiff's Véra is a triumph of the biographical shape.

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EISBN: 978-0-307-78176-5 1. Nabokov, Véra. 2. Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich, 1899–1977—Relations with ladies. three. Spouses of authors—Russia—Biography. four. Authors, Russian—20th-century—Biography. I. name. II. name: Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov. PG3476. N3Z8626 2000 813′. 54—dc21 [B] 99-42413 glossy Library web site tackle: www. modernlibrary. com v3. 1 For Marc CONTENTS hide additionally via Stacy Schiff name web page Copyright commitment advent 1 PETERSBURG 3848 2 THE ROMANTIC AGE three throughout the taking a look GLASS four the individual IN query five NABOKOV one hundred and one 6 NABOKOV 102 7 prior ideal eight AUTRES RIVAGES nine examine THE mask 10 THE LAND past THE VEIL ACKNOWLEDGMENTS NOTES chosen BIBLIOGRAPHY in regards to the writer creation INTERVIEWER: might you are saying how very important your spouse has been as a collaborator on your paintings? NABOKOV: No, i couldn't. —THE LISTENER, OCTOBER 23, 1969 this can be the tale of a lady, a guy, and a wedding, a threesome that provides up any variety of methods. For Véra and Vladimir Nabokov the mathematics used to be easy: the weather amounted to a unmarried entity. “There is just one actual quantity: One,” argues a doubly fictional personality on the middle of Nabokov’s first English-language novel. different writers got here in pairs, recollects a long term writer, yet none with the Nabokovs’ depth. They have been the last word portmanteau couple. “It used to be as shut a wedding as i used to be ever current at,” recollects William Maxwell, talking for numerous others. Even her detractors held that Véra Nabokov participated in her husband’s paintings to an exceptional measure. And that used to be within the Russian league, within which the contest is fierce. The Nabokovs came—and went—as a pair. most folk by no means observed him with out her. not just have been they inseparable yet their sentences fused, at the web page and in individual. They shared a datebook. Their handwritings invade each one other’s notebooks; he could commence from one finish, she from the opposite. 3 years into the wedding Vladimir apologized to his mom for writing her in pencil; Véra used to be within the subsequent room correcting proofs, with what used to be possibly the couple’s in simple terms pen. Thirty-five years later Véra lodged a similar grievance. She used to be writing in pencil simply because her pen constantly in use someplace. purely as she got here to the tip of her letter did her husband go back it to her. They did the biographer no favors: They spent little or no time aside. Why may possibly they no longer be like Louise Colet and Flaubert, 100 letters and merely six visits in over a yr and a part? The Nabokovs’ struck many as one of many nice love tales. Who used to be she? “She used to be only a wife,” remembered a writer with whom she corresponded, on her husband’s behalf, for 3 a long time. “She was once the overseas champion within the Wife-of-Writer pageant, including intelligence to the standard equation,” recalled a pal. “She used to be the Saint Sebastian of wives,” concluded one other. Whoever she was once, while it got here to self-display she favourite the unfavourable comparability. She used to be no longer a Russian aristocrat.

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