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Publisher's Summary

In 1958, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was published in the United States to immediate controversy and best-sellerdom. More than 60 years later, this phenomenal novel generates as much buzz as it did when originally published. Central to countless issues at the forefront of our national discourse - art and politics, race and whiteness, gender and power, sexual trauma - Lolita lives on, in an afterlife as blinding as a supernova. With original contributions from a stellar cast of prominent 21st-century writers and edited by the daughter of Lolita’s original publisher in America, Lolita in the Afterlife is a vibrant collection of sharp and essential modern pieces on this perennially provocative book.

With contributions by:

Robin Givhan • Aleksandar Hemon • Jim Shepard • Emily Mortimer • Laura Lippman • Erika L. Sánchez • Sarah Weinman • Andre Dubus III • Mary Gaitskill • Zainab Salbi • Christina Baker Kline • Ian Frazier • Cheryl Strayed • Sloane Crosley • Victor LaValle • Jill Kargman • Lila Azam Zanganeh • Roxane Gay • Claire Dederer • Jessica Shattuck • Stacy Schiff • Susan Choi • Kate Elizabeth Russell • Tom Bissell • Kira Von Eichel • Bindu Bansinath • Dani Shapiro • Alexander Chee • Lauren Groff • Morgan Jerkins

Audiobook table of contents:

"Witness for the Defense: My Father and Lolita" - by Emily Mortimer, read by the author

"Véra and Lo" - by Stacy Schiff, read by Marisol Ramirez

"On the Road with Humbert and Lolita" - by Ian Frazier, read by Paul Bellantoni

"Ugly Beautiful" - by Roxane Gay, read by the author

"Badge of Honor" - by Susan Choi, read by Rebecca Lowman

"Watching the Detective" - by Laura Lippman, read by the author

"Lolita Diary" - by Alexander Chee, read by Vikas Adam 

"Delectatio Morosa" - by Lauren Groff, read by Rebecca Lowman

"Lolita, #MeToo, and Myself"- by Morgan Jerkins, read by Marisol Ramirez

"Lolita, Chamonix, France, 2018" - by Andre Dubus III, read by the author

"The Showgirl Who Discovered Lolita" - by Sarah Weinman, read by the author

"Fashion’s Lolita; Fragile, Subversive, and a Paean to White Femininity" - by Robin Givhan, read by Marisol Ramirez

"Lolita and the Empathetic Imagination" - by Jim Shepard, read by the author

"How Lolita Freed Me from My Own Humbert" - by Bindu Bansinath, read by the author

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury" - by Christina Baker Kline, read by Rebecca Lowman

"Charmed" - by Victor LaValle, read by Vikas Adam 

"They Stay the Same Age" - by Sloane Crosley, read by the author

"Dear Sugar" - by Cheryl Strayed, read by the author

"What We Talk About When We Talk About Lolita" - by Lila Azam Zanganeh, read by Marisol Ramirez

"Nabokov’s Rocking Chair: Lolita at the Movies" - by Tom Bissell, read by the author

"Lo and Behold" - by Jill Kargman, read by the author

"Acquiring Lolita’s Language" - by Aleksandar Hemon, read by Paul Bellantoni

"Charlotte’s Complaint" - by Jessica Shattuck, read by the author

"Lolita in the Time of Trigger Warnings" - by Erika L. Sánchez, read by Marisol Ramirez

"Maison Nymphette" - by Kate Elizabeth Russell, read by the author

"A Living Story of Lolita in Iraq" - by Zainab Salbi, read by the author

"The Lollipop Room" - by Kira von Eichel, read by Rebecca Lowman

"The Anti-Monster" - by Claire Dederer, read by Marisol Ramirez

"Lolita in Lockdown" - by Dani Shapiro, read by the author

"I Cannot Get Out Said the Starling" - by Mary Gaitskill, read by Rebecca Lowman

©2021 Respective authors of all material within (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"An engrossing collection of smart and thoughtful essays.... A number of books about Nabokov and Lolita have been published in the last few years, but Lolita in the Afterlife seems to be the first to wholly reassess the work’s legacy as our society grapples with the harm caused by white male privilege and the age-old propensity to look the other way. All tallied, the book’s 30 essays (as well as Quigley’s own incisive introduction) are, by necessity, contradictory, bracing, uncomfortable, thought provoking, informative, entertaining and, in the end, inconclusive - not unlike Lolita itself." (BookPage

"In the six decades since its publication, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita continues to fascinate and disgust. Editor Quigley’s father took the risk in 1958 of publishing Lolita in the United States despite backlash and censorship threats. The 30 essays in this work present various aspects of Lolita, including a profile of the showgirl who first introduced the book to the American publishing world, its two film adaptations, its influence on modern music, and online message boards devoted to 'nymphet culture' inspired by the novel.... The superb essays found in this book demonstrate the enduring impact of this novel. Highly recommended for readers interested in Lolita and Nabokov." (Library Journal, starred review) 

"A sparkling collection of essays about the controversial novel. Lolita is personal for Minton Quigley, a writer, editor, and daughter of Walter Minton, the Putnam president who first published the novel in the U.S. in 1958.... A compendious, wide-ranging collection of sharp, thoughtful essays." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) 

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Indispensable companion to Nabokov’s classic

I found this collection of essays really helpful in processing my feelings about the book Lolita. I’d recommend it to anyone who wishes to understand the book in a modern context, or who wants to hear other literary opinions on it. If you haven’t read Lolita, this would also be a good (if spoiler containing) way to figure out if you want to read it for yourself to form your own opinion.