Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg on April 23, 1899.  His family fled to Germany in 1919, during the Bolshevik Revolution.  Nabokov studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1919 to 1923, when lived in Berlin (1923-1937) and Paris (1937-1940), where he began writing, mainly in Russian, under the pseudonym Sirin.  In 1940 he moved to the United States, where he pursued a brilliant literary career (as a poet, novelist, critic, and translator) while teaching literature at Wellesley College, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard.  The monumental success of his novel Lolita (1955) enabled him to give up teaching and devote himself fully to his writing.  In 1961 he moved to Mantreaux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977.  Recognized as one of this century’s master prose stylists in both Russian and English, he translated a number of his original English works—including Lolita—into Russian, and collaborated on English translations of his original Russian works.

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