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)

Lolita & anti-Semitism: talking Nabokov at the 92nd St. Y

Do you live or work in Manhattan? If so, join me at noon on Wednesday, March 13, at the 92nd Street Y’s Tribeca location to talk about Nabokov in America. I’ll cover the calamities that turned him into a refugee from both the Soviets and the Nazis, as well as what he found in the New World after his 1940 arrival in Manhattan.

More importantly, I’ll explain how Nabokov folded the anti-Semitism he witnessed in Germany, France, and America into the pages of Lolita, where his biting indictment of global bigotry went unnoticed by the vast majority of readers. We’ll also shine a light on some lost history (the current events Nabokov tucked into the novel, the existence of a real Camp Q, and more). And I’ll introduce a few unusual characters among Nabokov’s family and associates who mirrored—and perhaps inspired—his fiction.

Nabokov himself did a poetry reading at the 92nd Street Y back in April 1964. Material from his appearance there was included in the Y’s 2009 tribute to Nabokov. Watch that tribute here, complete with cameos by Martin Amis, Chip Kidd, and Nabokov biographer Brian Boyd. Or even better, watch the tribute, then sign up to join us at the Y’s Tribeca location on the 13th. I hope to see you there—but you do have to register!

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