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Revolver to Carry at Night

Revolver to Carry at Night

Roxanne says: A true depiction of the adage ‘behind every man is a great woman’, Vera Nabokov guarded her relationship with Vladimir to both successful and unsuccessful ends.  Zgustova takes us back and forth in time like a beautiful waltz; their initial romantic meeting which was Vera’s calculated conquest, their tumultuous middle child rearing period, and into their senior years with the scope of their 52 year long marriage.

A captivating, nuanced portrait of the life of Véra Nabokov, who dedicated herself to advancing her husband's writing career, playing a vital role in the creation of his greatest works.

Véra Nabokov (1902-1991) was in many ways the epitome of the wife of a great man: keenly aware of her husband's extraordinary talent, she decided to make his success her ultimate goal, throughout fifty-two years of marriage until his death in 1977. The first reader of his texts, Véra worked as typist and editor. She organized their lives in exile, as they traveled to Berlin, Paris, Switzerland, and, most importantly, the US, where she convinced Vladimir to focus on writing novels in English. She not only controlled the family's finances and contract negotiations, but also attempted to control his friendships--particularly with women--going so far as to audit his classes.

In this rich, sweeping novel, Monika Zgustova immerses us in the daily life of this remarkable couple, offering insights into their complex personal and professional relationships, as well as the real people behind characters such as Lolita. Véra considered herself an independent woman, but was she really, when her husband took up so much space? And without Véra, could Nabokov have become one of the twentieth century's greatest writers?

Publication Date: 
April 9, 2024
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