Vera: Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov

Vera: Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov

Paperback Modern Library (Paperback)

By (author) Stacy Schiff

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  • Publisher: Modern Library Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 464 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 211mm x 28mm | 567g
  • Publication date: 4 April 2000
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0375755349
  • ISBN 13: 9780375755347
  • Illustrations note: 16-PG B&W INSERT
  • Sales rank: 158,847

Product description

"NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLER Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for biography and hailed by critics as both "monumental" ("The Boston Globe") and "utterly romantic" ("New York" magazine), Stacy Schiff's "Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov)" brings to shimmering life one of the greatest literary love stories of our time. Vladimir Nabokov--the emigre author of "Lolita; Pale Fire;" and "Speak, Memory"--wrote his books first for himself, second for his wife, Vera, and third for no one at all. "Without my wife," he once noted, "I wouldn't have written a single novel." Set in prewar Europe and postwar America, spanning much of the century, the story of the Nabokovs' fifty-two-year marriage reads as vividly as a novel. Vera, both beautiful and brilliant, is its outsized heroine--a woman who loves as deeply and intelligently as did the great romantic heroines of Austen and Tolstoy. Stacy Schiff's "Vera" is a triumph of the biographical form.

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Author information

Stacy Schiff's Saint Exupery was a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She lives in New York City.

Review quote

"A sensitive rendering of one of the century's great love stories."--Mirabella " I am truly in love with this book. Schiff's sentences are magnificent, deceptively complex, full of insight and fact and distance and wry humor, so that every page is a kind of mini feast."--Anita Shreve " An absorbing story, illumined by Schiff's flair for the succinct insight." --The New York Times Book Review " Vera is an astonishingly fine book--a tale told with wit and elegance, a tale that succeeds in encompassing both the intimacy of a marriage and the sweep of history. I found it a great pleasure to read. And I'm in awe of Stacy Schiff's talent."--Jonathan Harr

Editorial reviews

The biography of a great author's wife - who on earth would want to read that? Well, when the wife was as important to the author and his work as Vera Nabokov was to Vladimir, then a lot of people would - or at any rate they would if they knew just how interesting the story was. For one thing, but for Vera we would not have Lolita: in 1948 she found her husband feeding the pages of the manuscript, one by one, into an incinerator. 'Get away from there!' she said, stamping on the flaming pages, 'We're keeping this!' And they did. The wife served the husband well for the whole of his life, and without - as far as one gathers - a single word of thanks (though he did dedicate all his books to her). A lesson in how to be the wife of a writer? Maybe more of a Dreadful Warning - but in any case a most fascinating book. (Kirkus UK)

Flap copy

Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for biography and hailed by critics as both "monumental" (The Boston Globe) and "utterly romantic" (New York magazine), Stacy Schiff's Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) brings to shimmering life one of the greatest literary love stories of our time. Vladimir Nabokov--the emigre author of "Lolita; " Pale Fire; and "Speak, Memory--wrote his books first for himself, second for his wife, Vera, and third for no one at all. "Without my wife," he once noted, "I wouldn't have written a single novel." Set in prewar Europe and postwar America, spanning much of the century, the story of the Nabokovs' fifty-two-year marriage reads as vividly as a novel. Vera, both beautiful and brilliant, is its outsized heroine--a woman who loves as deeply and intelligently as did the great romantic heroines of Austen and Tolstoy. Stacy Schiff's Vera is a triumph of the biographical form.