Fiction at Literati: A Revolver to Carry At Night

Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 6:30pm

Literati is pleased to welcome Monica Zgustova in celebration of her new novel, A Revolver to Carry At Night

About the Book: A captivating, nuanced portrait of the fascinating life of Véra Nabokov, who dedicated herself to advancing her husband’s writing career, playing a vital role in the creation of his greatest works.

Véra Nabokov (1902–1991) was in many ways the epitome of the wife of a great man: keenly aware of her husband’s extraordinary talent, she decided to make his success her ultimate goal, throughout fifty-two years of marriage until his death in 1977. The first reader of his texts, Véra worked as typist and editor. She organized their lives in exile, as they traveled to Berlin, Paris, Switzerland, and, most importantly, the US, where she convinced Vladimir to focus on writing novels in English. She not only controlled the family’s finances and contract negotiations, but also attempted to control his friendships—particularly with women—going so far as to audit his classes.

In a rich, sweeping novel, Monika Zgustova immerses us in the daily life of this remarkable couple, offering insights into their complex personal and professional relationships. Véra considered herself an independent woman, but was she really, when her husband took up so much space? And without Véra, could Nabokov have become one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers?

Monika Zgustova is an award-winning author whose works have been published in ten languages. She was born in Prague and studied comparative literature in the United States (University of Illinois and University of Chicago). She then moved to Barcelona, where she writes for El País, The Nation, and CounterPunch, among others. As a translator of Czech and Russian literature into Spanish and Catalan—including the writing of Havel, Kundera, Hrabal, Hašek, Dostoyevsky, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, and Babel—Zgustova is credited with bringing major twentieth-century writers to Spain. Her book Dressed for a Dance in the Snow: Women’s Voices from the Gulag was published by Other Press in 2020.

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124 E. Washington
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
A Revolver to Carry at Night: A Novel By Monika Zgustova, Julie Jones (Translated by) Cover Image
By Monika Zgustova, Julie Jones (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781635423808
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press - April 16th, 2024

Dressed for a Dance in the Snow: Women's Voices from the Gulag By Monika Zgustova, Julie Jones (Translated by) Cover Image
By Monika Zgustova, Julie Jones (Translated by)
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ISBN: 9781590511770
Published: Other Press - February 4th, 2020