Letters to Vera
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Letters to Vera

4.09 (291 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Edited by  , Edited by 

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Description

GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014

No marriage of a major twentieth-century writer lasted longer than Vladimir Nabokov's. Vera Slonim shared his delight at the enchantment of life's trifles and literature's treasures, and he rated her as having the best and quickest sense of humour of any woman he had met. From their meeting in 1921, Vladimir's letters to his beloved Vera form a narrative arc that tells a forty-six year-long love story, and they are memorable in their entirety. Almost always playful, romantic, and pithy, the letters tell us much about the man and the writer; we see that Vladimir observed everything, from animals, faces, speech, and landscapes with genuine fascination.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 864 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 54mm | 1,423g
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141192232
  • 9780141192239
  • 158,806

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Review Text

[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
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Review quote

[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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About Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov was born in 1899 in St Petersburg. He wrote his first literary works in Russian, but rose to international prominence as a masterly prose stylist for the novels he composed in English, most famously, Lolita. Between 1923 and 1940 he published novels, short stories, plays, poems and translations in the Russian language and established himself as one of the most outstanding Russian emigre writers. He died in 1977.
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Rating details

291 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 42% (121)
4 34% (99)
3 19% (55)
2 3% (9)
1 2% (7)
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