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Sally Horner

Discovery of the “Real” Lolita from the Classic

in Nonfiction by

This story appears through BookTrib’s partnership with the International Thriller Writers. It first appeared in The Big Thrill.  When discussing a novel, many an author will be only too happy to cite the real person who inspires a character or the news story that sparks the idea for a plotline. But Vladimir Nabokov, no great surprise, wasn’t like other authors. He always denied that the case of Sally Horner, abducted at the age of 11 from Camden, New Jersey, in 1948, inspired his 1955 novel Lolita. Sarah Weinman argues otherwise, in her meticulously researched and movingly written nonfiction book The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandelized the World (Ecco). In so doing, Weinman became a literary detective, poring…

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