Some of Nabokov's more famous works may be in English, but he wrote nine novels in Russian. And since I'm currently reading his first novel, Mary, I figure it would make sense to have a thread in his name.
Without wanting to liberally borrow a biography from Wikipedia, let's just say that he was born in April 1899 (dates differ, depending on the calendar in use) and died in July 1977. Aside from being arguably one of the 20th Century's best English prose stylists, his interests also extended to lepidoptery and chess problems.
Much is made of his switch from Russian to English at the halfway point of his writing career, about how someone whose first language was Russian can make the leap to another language and do it better than native speakers. From what I understand he was bilingual from the start - the Wikipedia articles states that:The family spoke Russian, English and French in their household, and Nabokov was trilingual from an early age. In fact, much to his father's patriotic chagrin, Nabokov could read and write English before he could Russian.Whether this is true or not - and why shouldn't it be? - I suspect may be expanded upon in his autobiography, Speak, Memory.
- Mary (1926)
- King, Queen, Knave (1928)
- The Luzhin Defence (1930)
- The Eye (1930)
- Glory (1932)
- Laughter In The Dark (1933)
- Despair (1934)
- Invitation To A Beheading (1936)
- The Gift (1937)
- The Enchanter (1939)
- The Real Life Of Sebastian Knight (1941)
- Bend Sinister (1947)
- Lolita (1955)
- Pnin (1957)
- Pale Fire (1962)
- Ada Or Ardor (1969)
- Transparent Things (1972)
- Look At The Harlequins! (1974)
- The Original Of Laura (unfinished)
Add to those novels and novellas collections of short stories, poetry, some drama, a number of translations back and forth between Russian and English, a few titles of literary criticism, and more pertaining to lepidoptery and you have a prolific body of work. It's interesting to note the frequency in which his Russian novels appeared, and how - no doubt as they got more playful - the gaps grew between English novels.
While I have a number of his books amongst my collection, the only one of his I've read in full is Lolita, so I'm no position to wax lyrical about him. But he's an interesting character, his books and their trickery are intriguing still, and the recent controversy over the will he/won't he burn it, as regards Dmitri Nabokov and The Original Of Laura ensures that he will continue to be talked about, respected, and read.