This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Have you ever been so inspired by an author’s work that you wish you could tell them exactly how much they have impacted your life? In this series, Literary Love Letters, we do just that – share open love letters to inspiring authors. Today, Two Fridays in April author Roisin Meaney writes to Vladimir Nabokov.
You don’t know me, but I love you. I’ve loved you for years, ever since I was a not very academic academic, and in my first year of Teacher Training College. English Literature was one of my chosen subjects, and Lolita was one of the novels on my reading list. I’d always been a voracious novel reader, so this bit of college was no hardship to me. This wasn’t study, this was reading: no sweat.Your name was intriguing. Up to this, I’d only ever read books by people whose first language was English. On the basis of your exoticism, and because I thought ‘Lolita’ was also pleasingly foreign, I decided to put you at the top of the list, and read you first.
It was love at first sight. From your opening paragraph, I was yours. You bewitched me with your language, and your musical sentences, and your enthrallingly complicated but absolutely convincing characters, and your completely perfect depiction of small town America, which had long been up there among my preferred story locations.
I finished Lolita in despair that I could never again experience it for the first time. I devoured every other book of yours, and in between, I re-read Lolita.
Over 30 years later, it is still far and away my favourite book – and another of yours, Pnin, is a close second. I wish you hadn’t died when you did; I wish you’d written twice as many books as you did, but I’m very, very glad you wrote what you did, and I’m so glad you happened my way.