March 16, 2021

Lolita in the Afterlife

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes editor JENNY MINTON QUIGLEY and contributors SUSAN CHOI, LAUREN GROFF, MORGAN JERKINS, and STACY SCHIFF for a panel discussion of Lolita in the Afterlife: On Beauty, Risk, and Reckoning with the Most Indelible and Shocking Novel of the Twentieth Century.


In 1958, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was published in the United States to immediate controversy and bestsellerdom. More than sixty years later, this phenomenal novel generates as much buzz as it did when originally published. Central to countless issues at the forefront of our national discourse—art and politics, race and whiteness, gender and power, sexual trauma—Lolita lives on, in an afterlife as blinding as a supernova.

With original contributions from a stellar cast of prominent twenty-first century writers and edited by the daughter of Lolita’s original publisher in America, Lolita in the Afterlife is a vibrant collection of sharp and essential modern pieces on this perennially provocative book.

About Author(s)

Jenny Minton Quigley is a writer and editor. She is the series editor for The Best Short Stories of The Year: The O. Henry Prize Winners, and the author of a memoir, The Early Birds. She is the daughter of Walter J. Minton, the storied former president and publisher of G. P. Putnam’s Sons, who first dared to publish Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov in the United States in 1958. A former book editor at several Random House imprints, Minton Quigley lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, with her husband, sons, and dogs.

Lauren Groff is the author of five books, including Fates and Furies, a finalist for the National Book Award and the NBCC Award, and Florida, winner of the Story Prize and finalist for the National Book Award. Her sixth book, Matrix, will be published by Riverhead in September.

Morgan Jerkins is the New York Times bestselling author of This Will Be My Undoing and Wandering in Strange Lands. She is the senior editor at ZORA and a visiting professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She’s based in Harlem.

Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), for which she won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. She is as well the author of Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize. Her most recent books, Cleopatra: A Life and The Witches: Salem, 1692, have been number one bestsellers. Among other honors, Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she was named a 2019 Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

Susan Choi is the author of five novels, most recently Trust Exercise, which received the 2019 National Book Award for fiction. She has also received the Asian American Literary Award for fiction, the PEN/W. G. Sebald Award, a Lamba Literary Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She has been a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2019 she published her first book for children, Camp Tiger. She teaches fiction writing at Yale and lives in Brooklyn.