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Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins.

The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine... Read More

. Vladimir Nabokov

Photo © Jerry Bauer

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A Hero of Our Time
Written by Mikhail Lermontov, Translated by Vladimir Nabokov and Dmitri Nabokov, Foreword by Vladimir Nabokov, Introduction by T. J. Binyon
Everyman's Library | Hardcover | June 1992
$21.00/28.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-41327-1 (0-679-41327-8)

In its adventurous happenings–its abductions, duels, and sexual intrigues–A Hero of Our Time looks backward to the tales of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron, so beloved by Russian society in the 1820s and ’30s. In the character of its protagonist, Pechorin–the archetypal Russian antihero–Lermontov’s novel looks forward to the subsequent...

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Ada, or Ardor
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | February 1990
$18.00/22.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-72522-0 (0-679-72522-9)

Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov's greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist.  It tells a love story troubled by incest.  But more: it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of... Read more

The Annotated Lolita
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | April 1991
$21.00/25.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-72729-3 (0-679-72729-9)

The annotated text of this modern classic. It assiduously illuminates the extravagant wordplay and the frequent literary allusions, parodies, and cross-references. Edited with a preface, introduction and notes by Alfred Appel, Jr. Read more

Bend Sinister
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | April 1990
$16.95/22.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-72727-9 (0-679-72727-2)

The first novel Nabokov wrote while living in America and the most overtly political novel he ever wrote, Bend Sinister is a modern classic.  While it is filled with veiled puns and characteristically delightful wordplay, it is, first and foremost, a haunting and compelling narrative about a civilized man caught in the... Read more

Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | May 1989
$15.95/18.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-72343-1 (0-679-72343-9)

Extensively revised by Nabokov in 1965--thirty years after its original publication--Despair is the wickedly inventive and richly derisive story of Hermann, a man who undertakes the perfect crime--his own murder. Read more

The Enchanter
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | July 1991
$15.00/17.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-72886-3 (0-679-72886-4)

The Enchanter is the Ur-Lolita, the precursor to Nabokov's classic novel. At once hilarious and chilling, it tells the story of an outwardly respectable man and his fatal obsession with certain pubescent girls, whose coltish grace and subconscious coquetry reveal, to his mind, a special bud on the verge of bloom... Read more

The Eye
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | September 1990
$15.00/18.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-72723-1 (0-679-72723-X)

Nabokov's fourth novel, The Eye is as much a farcical detective story as it is a profoundly refractive tale about the vicissitudes of identities and appearances. Nabokov's protagonist, Smurov, is a lovelorn, excruciatingly self-conscious Russian émigré living in prewar Berlin, who commits suicide after being humiliated by a jealous husband, only... Read more

The Gift
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | May 1991
$16.00/19.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-72725-5 (0-679-72725-6)

The Gift is the last of the novels Nabokov wrote in his native Russian and the crowning achievement of that period in his literary career.  It is also his ode to Russian literature, evoking the works of Pushkin, Gogol, and others in the course of its narrative:  the story of Fyodor Godunov-Cherdyntsev, an... Read more

Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | November 1991
$16.00/22.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-72724-8 (0-679-72724-8)

Glory is the wryly ironic story of Martin Edelweiss, a twenty-two-year-old Russian émigré of no account, who is in love with a girl who refuses to marry him.  Convinced that his life is about to be wasted and hoping to impress his love, he embarks on a "perilous, daredevil project"--an illegal attempt... Read more

Invitation to a Beheading
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | September 1989
$15.95/21.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-72531-2 (0-679-72531-8)

Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude," an imaginary crime that defies definition. Cincinnatus spends his last days in an absurd jail... Read more

King, Queen, Knave
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | July 1989
$16.00/19.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-72340-0 (0-679-72340-4)

The novel is the story of Dreyer, a wealthy and boisterous proprietor of a men's clothing emporium store.  Ruddy, self-satisfied, and thoroughly masculine, he is perfectly repugnant to his exquisite but cold middle-class wife Martha.  Attracted to his money but repelled by his oblivious passion, she longs for their nephew instead, the myopic... Read more

Laughter in the Dark
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | December 1989
$15.95/20.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-72450-6 (0-679-72450-8)

Albinus, a respectable, middle-aged man and aspiring filmmaker, abandons his wife for a lover half his age: Margot, who wants to become a movie star herself. When Albinus introduces her to Rex, an American movie producer, disaster ensues. What emerges is an elegantly sardonic and irresistibly ironic novel of desire, deceit... Read more

Letters to Vera
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | December 12, 2017
$20.00/26.00(Canada) | 978-0-307-47658-6 (0-307-47658-8)

No marriage of a major twentieth-century writer is quite as beguiling as that of Vladimir Nabokov’s to Véra Slonim. She shared his delight at the enchantment of 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...

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Letters to Véra
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Knopf | Hardcover | November 2015
$40.00/51.00(Canada) | 978-0-307-59336-8 (0-307-59336-3)

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 Véra Slonim. She...

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Written by Vladimir Nabokov, Introduction by Martin Amis
Everyman's Library | Hardcover | March 1993
$24.00/28.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-41043-0 (0-679-41043-0)


When 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...

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Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | March 1989
$16.00/21.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-72316-5 (0-679-72316-1)

Awe and exhiliration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar... Read more

Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage Espanol | Trade Paperback | November 2009
$17.00/23.00(Canada) | 978-0-307-47467-4 (0-307-47467-4)

Lolita, la más famosa y controversial novela de Vladimir Nabokov, cuenta la historia de la obsesión devoradora del cuarentón Humbert Humbert por la nínfula Dolores Haze. Ternura y fascinación —además de tristeza y un humor mordaz— llenan sus páginas pero es, por encima de todo, una meditación sobre el amor—el amor... Read more

Lolita: A Screenplay
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | August 1997
$15.00/18.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-77255-2 (0-679-77255-3)

The screenplay for Kubrick’s 1962 film tells the story of an older man’s obsession with a young girl. Read more

Look at the Harlequins!
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | June 1990
$14.95/19.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-72728-6 (0-679-72728-0)

A dying man cautiously unravels the mysteries of memory and creation. Vadim is a Russian émigré who, like Nabokov, is a novelist, poet and critic. There are threads linking the fictional hero with his creator as he reconstructs the images of his past from young love to his serious illness. Read more

The Luzhin Defense
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | August 1990
$16.95/22.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-72722-4 (0-679-72722-1)

Nabokov's third novel, The Luzhin Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive,  distracted, withdrawn, sullen--an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life.  His talent is... Read more

Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | November 1989
$15.00/17.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-72620-3 (0-679-72620-9)

Mary is a gripping tale of youth, first love, and nostalgia--Nabokov's first novel.  In a Berlin rooming house filled with an assortment of seriocomic Russian émigrés, Lev Ganin, a vigorous young officer poised between his past and his future, relives his first love affair.  His memories of Mary are suffused with the freshness... Read more

The Original of Laura
Written by Vladimir Nabokov, Edited by Dmitri Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | January 2013
$16.00/19.00(Canada) | 978-0-307-47285-4 (0-307-47285-X)

When Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977, he left instructions for his heirs to burn the 138 hand-written index cards that made up the rough draft of his final and unfinished novel, The Original of Laura. But Nabokov's wife, Vera, could not bear to destroy her husband's last work, and when she...

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Pale Fire
Written by Vladimir Nabokov, Introduction by Richard Rorty
Everyman's Library | Hardcover | March 1992
$24.00/25.95(Canada) | 978-0-679-41077-5 (0-679-41077-5)

The urbane authority that Vladimir Nabokov brought to every word he ever wrote, and the ironic amusement he cultivated in response to being uprooted and politically exiled twice in his life, never found fuller expression than in Pale Fire published in 1962 after the critical and popular success of Lolita had...

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Pale Fire
Written by Vladimir Nabokov
Vintage | Trade Paperback | April 1989
$16.00/22.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-72342-4 (0-679-72342-0)

In Pale Fire Nabokov offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures: a 999-line poem by the reclusive genius John Shade; an adoring foreword and commentary by Shade's self-styled Boswell, Dr. Charles Kinbote; a darkly comic novel of suspense, literary idolatry and one-upmanship, and political intrigue. Read more

Written by Vladimir Nabokov, Introduction by David Lodge
Everyman's Library | Hardcover | April 2004
$20.00/23.00(Canada) | 978-1-4000-4198-5 (1-4000-4198-8)


One of the best-loved of Nabokov’s novels, Pnin features his funniest and most heart-rending character. Professor Timofey Pnin is a haplessly disoriented Russian émigré precariously employed on an American college campus in the 1950s. Pnin struggles to maintain his dignity through a series of comic and sad misunder-standings, all the while...

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