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"Véra"

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In Véra (Random House; $27.95), co-dependence proves engrossing and utterly romantic as biographer Stacy Schiff reconstructs the life and wifehood of the brilliant, stoic Véra Slonim, a.k.a. Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov. She was not just the quadrilingual masked girl he met in St. Petersburg, the mother of his child, the editor whose handwriting crowds the margins of his manuscripts, or the T.A. of his courses, nor was she merely his crystal-blue-eyed muse. She was his wife, in the most complete and complicated sense of the word. Schiff's elegant prose and fanatical attention to detail establish this unequivocally. In 52 years, the only thing the two did not share was the spotlight.


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