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The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World Hardcover – Illustrated, September 11, 2018

4.0 out of 5 stars 106 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The achievement of [Weinman’s] impressive literary sleuthing is to bring to life a girl whose story had been lost.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Gripping. . . . Glimpses into Nabokov’s process will tantalize die-hard fans, and true crime aficionados will relish Weinman’s assiduous reporting.” (O Magazine)

“Superb. . . . A compelling investigation. . . . Weinman has evocatively reconstructed Sally’s nightmare.” (Fresh Air)

“[A] gripping tale of a long-forgotten victim whose ordeal also echoes the more recent cases of Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard.” (People)

“[Weinman’s] real achievement is evocatively relating the story of a girl who—like her fictional counterpart—was no temptress…but the victim of a sexual predator. . . . [She] has brilliantly filled out her subject’s ghost.” (Entertainment Weekly)

The Real Lolita stands out for its captivating mix of tenacious investigative reporting, well-chosen photographs, astute literary analysis, and passionate posthumous recognition of a defenseless child who — until now — never received the literary acknowledgment she deserved.” (NPR.org)

“Riveting. . . . Scrupulously researched. . . . Nearly 70 years after Sally Horner’s death, Weinman’s dark and compulsively readable book will make readers aware of the absence of a nearly forgotten girl’s voice in discussions of one of the great works of American literature.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Superb. . . . Weinman has compassionately given Sally Horner pride of place once more in her own life, a life that was first brutally warped by Frank La Salle, and then appropriated by one of the most brilliant writers of the 20th century.” (Washington Post)

“A sensitive look at the troubling crime that influenced Vladimir Nabokov’s most notorious book; Weinman writes with insight and empathy about both the famous author and the now-forgotten girl whose story intrigued him.” (Boston Globe)

“Utterly engrossing. . . . Weinman’s obsession becomes the reader’s obsession. . . . We develop boundless compassion for this once little girl, along with a deep empathy and sorrow for the story of her life.” (Los Angeles Review of Books)

From the Back Cover

Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time. And yet very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was inspired by a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner.

Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner’s full story for the very first time. Drawing upon extensive investigations, legal documents, public records, and interviews with remaining relatives, Sarah Weinman uncovers how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita.

Sally Horner’s story echoes the stories of countless girls and women who never had the chance to speak for themselves. By diving deeper into the publication history of Lolita and restoring Sally to her rightful place in the lore of the novel’s creation, Sarah Weinman’s thrilling, heartbreaking The Real Lolita casts a new light on the dark inspiration for a modern classic.


Product details

  • Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
  • Hardcover : 320 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062661920
  • ISBN-10 : 0062661922
  • Publisher : Ecco; Illustrated Edition (September 11, 2018)
  • Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.05 x 8.25 inches
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 106 ratings