Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), one of the 20th century's greatest writers in both Russian and English, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and spent his adult life in Germany, France, the United States, and Switzerland. In addition to his literary work, he was a passionate lepidopterist and chess player. His books include Lolita, Pale Fire, The Real Light of Sebastian Knight, Laughter in the Dark, and many more.
Michael Dirda, who won a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism at theWashington Post Book World, is the author ofAn Open Book,Bound to Please, andReadings: Essays and Literary Entertainments. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.