Penguin to Publish Last Nabokov Novel

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2009 7:08 PM CDT
Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977) in Rome to work on the film screenplay of his most famous book, 'Lolita'.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The unfinished manuscript that Lolita novelist Vladimir Nabokov ordered destroyed after his death will hit bookstores in November, The Bookseller reports. Penguin Classics, which acquired The Original of Laura from Nabokov's son Dimitri in a six-figure deal, will reproduce the index cards on which Laura was written alongside transcriptions of the text. Knopf will simultaneously release it in the US.

Penguin Classics editor Alexis Kirschbaum visited Dmitri's home in Montreaux for 3 days before purchasing the work. "It was quite emotional for Dimitri because it was a big decision to publish, which took him decades," Kirschbaum said. A darkly comic novel, Laura is narrated by a man infatuated with his promiscuous wife. Nabokov "is also very interested in psychology and in what it means to hate yourself and want to disappear," said Kirschbaum.