Author(s): Vladímir Nabokov
In some of these stories shadowy people pass through, cooped up by life, mangled by it, with nowhere to escape to. Their dreams lie stifled, smothered by routine and repetition, and frustrations lurk in all the corners. In others, elusive glimpses of fleeting happiness, which flutter away before they can be snatched, waylay their victims. Like the shimmer of the sea, the gleam of a glass caught by the sun, they sparkle brilliantly only to dissolve again.
Two of the stories, 'First Love' and 'Mademoiselle O', are autobiographical, and 'The Assistant Producer' is based on real events, but the rest are pure flights of fantasy - or the stuff that life is weaved of?
At their best they display a Lawrentian power of evocation, a Proustian depth of subtlty, sadness and loss * Sunday Times *
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.