WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the award–winning author of The Revolutionary and The Witches comes “an elegantly nuanced portrait of [Vladimir Nabokov’s] wife, showing us just how pivotal Nabokov’s marriage was to his hermetic existence and how it indelibly shaped his work.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
ONE OF ESQUIRE’S 50 BEST BIOGRAPHIES OF ALL TIME
“Monumental.”—The Boston Globe
“Utterly romantic.”—New York magazine
“Deeply moving.”—The Seattle Times
Stacy Schiff brings to shimmering life one of the greatest literary love stories of our time: Vladimir Nabokov, émigré author of Lolita; Pale Fire; and Speak, Memory, and his beloved wife, Véra. Nabokov wrote his books first for himself, second for his wife, 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 twentieth century, the story of the Nabokovs’ fifty-two-year marriage reads as vividly as a novel. Véra, 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 Véra is a triumph of the biographical form.