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Letters to Vera
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As we read over Vera's shoulder we can follow the shift from the passion where everything needs to be said to the passion where everything can be assumed. These letters reveal in Nabokov the man what he valued most in art- 'curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy.'

About the Author

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), born in St Petersburg, exiled in Cambridge, Berlin, and Paris, became the greatest Russian writer of the first half of the twentieth century. Fleeing to the US with his family in 1940, he then became the greatest writer in English of the second half of the century, and even 'God's own novelist' (William Deresiewicz). He lived in Europe from 1959, and died in Montreux, Switzerland. All his major works - novels, stories, an autobiography, poems, plays, lectures, essays and reviews - are published in Penguin Modern Classics. Brian Boyd, University Distinguished Professor of English, University of Auckland, has long been associated with the work of Vladimir Nabokov, as annotator, bibliographer, biographer, critic, editor, translator and more. His works have appeared in nineteen languages and won awards on four continents. Brian Boyd, University Distinguished Professor of English, University of Auckland, has long been associated with the work of Vladimir Nabokov, as annotator, bibliographer, biographer, critic, editor, translator and more. His works have appeared in nineteen languages and won awards on four continents.

Reviews

[These] letters contain some of the most moving passages he would ever write, full of alternately impressionistic and exquisitely detailed glimpses at the world around him, which he portrays as almost painfully beautiful . . . The Nabokov on display in this beautifully produced volume . . . [is] an author who sees his task as talking his fragile reader down from an upper-storey ledge by showing her the luminosity of a world that has somehow ceased to be a source of delight . . . [This] publication is an impressive achievement . . . The richly textured, eminently readable translations by Boyd and Olga Voronina are admirably faithful * Times Literary Supplement *
Some of the most rapturous love letters anyone has ever written, love letters from the length of a lifelong marriage; beautiful performances for Vera, Nabokov's wife, and incidentally for us . . . so absorbing . . . sentences of pure magic -- Philip Hensher * Spectator *
A compelling record, it confirms Nabokov as possibly the most happily married writer of the 20th century. Every one of his books was dedicated to Vera; she was the sure centre of his world . . . Tinged with a sensuous immediacy of detail, Letters to Vera is a record of rapture . . . Superbly edited by Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd, these letters reveal Nabokov as a considerable wit, with a gift for terse put-downs and fascination with what remained outside his class and culture - whether it was Greyhound buses in Massachusetts or the New York subway. Now, perhaps for the first time, the Russian writer emerges distinct from the shadows of his biographers, and as one of the most uxoriously besotted writers of all time -- Ian Thomson * Observer *
Nabokov's letters to Vera, translated from the Russian and published for the first time in a handsome and meticulously edited edition, provide insight into the unfolding of Nabokov's considerable talent. It has been a collaborative production, driven by the doyen of Nabokov scholarship, Brian Boyd, and assisted by Olga Voronina, of Bard College . . . this is Nabokov uncut -- Duncan White * Telegraph *

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