The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The girl whose tragic story inspired ‘Lolita’

If the scenario sounds familiar, it should. It’s the basic plot of “Lolita,” Vladimir Nabokov’s enduring 1955 novel about a middle-aged man’s sexual fixation on a prepubescent girl.

Now, two books — the novel “Rust & Stardust” by T. Greenwood (St. Martin’s, out Tuesday) and the non-fiction “The Real Lolita” (Ecco, Sept. 11) by Sarah Weinman — look at how Sally’s kidnapping, exploitation and early death provided the raw materials for Nabokov to complete a novel that had bedeviled him for a decade.


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