Lolita in the Afterlife
On Beauty, Risk, and Reckoning with the Most Indelible and Shocking Novel of the Twentieth Century
- By: Jenny Minton Quigley
A vibrant collection of sharp and essential modern pieces on the perennially controversial Lolita, by a wide range of celebrated writers, edited by the daughter of Lolita's original publisher.
In 1958, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita was published in the United States to immediate controversy. More than sixty years later, it is more important than ever to discuss this complex novel. Now, having commissioned original contributions by Cheryl Strayed, Roxane Gay, Erika Sánchez, Sloane Crosley, Andre Dubus III, Ian Frazier, Lauren Groff, Stacy Schiff, Emily Mortimer, Victor LaValle, and many more, Jenny Minton Quigley examines how we read Lolita today.
Lolita both exists in and exemplifies many of the issues at the forefront of our current national discourse: art and politics, race and whiteness, gender and power, sexual trauma. Jenny, the daughter of Walter J. Minton, who published Lolita at G. P. Putnam's Sons after it had been rejected by five other American publishers, brings a unique vantage point to this conversation. In her introduction she tells the amazing true story of the original publication, a risk Walter took despite the very real possibility that he could be prosecuted and go to jail (and which, by the way, included Walter's daring flight through a storm to meet Nabokov and strike the deal).
Lolita in the Afterlife is a riveting examination of the bright and dark spell that Nabokov's indelible novel left and still leaves on the cultural landscape. As these prominent writers of the twenty-first century attest, Lolita lives on, in an afterlife as blinding as a supernova.