History seemed to pursue Vladimir Nabokov. In the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Second World War he lost his homeland, social position and family, and was even compelled to abandon his own language. In 1955, by then an American citizen, he published 'Lolita', which caused a sensation and established his reputation as a strikingly original writer of English. Despite the shadow of exile, Nabokov's work exudes a tremendous vivacity and joy. Even at its darkest it has an inventiveness and a richness of perception that has rarely been surpassed.
'Penguin Illustrated Lives' is a series of photographic biographies that offers a fresh, intimate portrait of some of our favourite writers. An incisive, lively text is accompanied by over one hundred evocative images, many in colour and some previously unpublished, which depict the author's world - family, friends and artistic circle together with original book jackets, letters and other ephemera.