Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков, pronounced ; 22 April 1899c – 2 July 1977) was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist. He also made contributions to entomology and had an interest in chess problems.
Nabokov's Lolita (1955) is frequently cited as among his most important novels and is his most widely known, exhibiting the love of intricate word play and synesthetic detail that characterised all his works. The novel was ranked at #4 in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels. Pale Fire (1962) was ranked at #53 on the same list. His memoir, Speak, Memory, was listed #8 on the Modern Library nonfiction list.
Nabokov was born on 22 April 1899 (10 April 1899 Old-Style), in Saint Petersburg,b to a wealthy and prominent Saint Petersburg family of the minor nobility. He was the eldest of five children of liberal lawyer, statesman, and journalist Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov and his wife, née Elena Ivanovna Rukavishnikova. His cousins included the composer Nicolas Nabokov. He spent his childhood and youth in St. Petersburg and at the country estate Vyra near Siverskaya, south of the city.