Praise for The Secret History

"A penetrating analysis certain to compel a major reassessment of the Nabokov canon."
— starred review, Booklist

"...a brilliant examination that adds to the understanding of an inspiring and enigmatic life."
— starred review, Kirkus

"Highly recommended for all Nabokov fans..."
— starred review, Library Journal

"Certainly the most remarkable and insightful book on Vladimir Nabokov in many years."
— Michael Maar, author of Speak, Nabokov and The Two Lolitas

"... an intriguing and provocative new take on one of the giants of modern American letters."
— Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion: 1914-1918 and other books

"... a feat of fascinating literary detective work ..."
— Christopher Goffard, author of You Will See Fire and Snitch Jacket

"A wide-ranging introduction to Nabokov's life and work as well as a game-changer for those readers who thought they knew his writing cold."
— Steven Belletto, author of No Accident, Comrade: Chance and Design in Cold War American Narratives (Oxford U. Press)

Foreign publishers for The Secret History; more grim news out of St. Petersburg

On the “exciting news” front, The Secret History is now slated for publication in Russia and Poland. Russian house Sindbad Publishers Limited and Polish publisher Muza will be translating and printing the book in their respective countries. I’m particularly grateful that publishers in places so profoundly bound up with Holocaust and Gulag tragedy are interested in Nabokov’s life and writing in the context of this history.

Current events underline one reason why telling this story is so important worldwide. Reports from St. Petersburg in recent weeks detail new attacks on Nabokov-related places and productions in the city of his birth. Staging of a one-man show of Lolita was threatened last fall by cultural vigilantes. Though the performance did finally take place last month, the 23-year-old show manager was lured to a meeting (under pretext of an interview) only to be beaten and forced to confess to pedophilia on camera at gunpoint.

A similarly disturbing attack on the Nabokov Museum I mentioned in an earlier post was accompanied by warnings to museum staff, and just this week, the word pedophile scrawled on a wall of the beautiful mansion. Popular perception of who Nabokov was and what he was up to sorely lags the known facts, and ultraconservatives are pushing a retrograde view. Here’s hoping that The Secret History can play a small part in supporting the work of places like the Nabokov Museum and disseminating the truth.

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