In May 2005 Penguin will publish 70 unique titles to celebrate the company's 70th birthday. The titles in the Pocket Penguins series are emblematic of the renowned breadth of quality of the Penguin list and will hark back to Penguin founder Allen Lane's vision of good books for all'. A masterful novelist in both his native Russian and in English, Nabokov shocked a generation when Putnam, now a part of the Penguin group, published Lolita the account of one man's longing for a very young girl in 1955. Stylish, intricate and sensuous, these wickedly inventive stories are a rich combination of humour and horror: exploring questions of literature, love, madness and memory.
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Nabokov was born in 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia to a wealthy and aristocratic liberal family. In 1919 the family moved to England where Nabokov was to graduate from Cambridge university some years later and in 1922 he was left devastated when his father was killed in a political assasination. Settling in Germany he published his first book, Mary, in Russian before he and his wife were forced to flee from the Nazis to New York. Lolita, his most famous book, was published in France in 1955 but it was a further three years before it was published in the US, to a moral outcry that has never entirely died down - when Lolita was remade as a film in 1997 no American film studio would distribute it and it was released directly to video. Nabokov died in 1977, in Switzerland.
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