'You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style'. Humbert Humbert, a European intellectual adrift in America, is a middle-aged college professor. Haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love, he falls outrageously (and illegally) in lust with his landlady's twelve-year-old daughter Dolores Haze. Obsessed, he'll do anything, will commit any crime, to possess his Lolita. But once Lolita belongs to Humbert, once he has got what he wants, what next? And what of Lolita? How long is she willing to be possessed?
You read Lolita sprawling limply in your chair, ravished, overcome, nodding scandalized assent - Martin Amis Observer Nabokov's command of words, his joy in them, his comic and ecstatic use of them, wrapped around his particular vision of life, is the Nabokivan finishing touch which makes reading his work such an intense joy - Daily Telegraph Lolita is more the shocking because it is both intensely lyrical and wildly funny ... a Medusa's head with trick paper snakes - Time
Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He moved to England in 1919 and studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, before moving to Berlin in 1922. 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. In 1940 he moved with his wife and son to America, where he worked as a lecturer and professor until he retired from teaching in 1959. Nabokov published his first novel in English, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, in 1941. His other books include Ada; Laughter in the Dark; Despair; Pnin; Nabokov's Dozen; Invitation to a Beheading; Mary; Bend Sinister; Glory; Pale Fire; The Gift; The Luzhin Defense and Lolita, which brought him worldwide fame. In 1973 he was awarded the American National Medal for Literature. Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977.