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!