'He did us all an honour by electing to use, and transform, our language' Anthony Burgess
'Look at the harlequins ... Play! Invent the world! Invent reality'.
This is the childhood advice given by an aunt to Russian born writer Vadim Vadimovich, who emigrates to England, then Paris, then Germany and then the US, and, now dying, reconstructs his past. He remembers Iris his first wife, Annette his long-necked typist and Bel his daughter, as well as his own bizarre 'numerical nimbus syndrome'.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was born 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.