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Sarah Weinman

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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To Harriet, on her 50th birthday: contemporary writers reflect on the influence of HARRIET THE SPY

in Fiction by

In the beginning, there were stories. Always stories. And with stories come writers. So begins Louise Fitzhugh’s 1964 classic, Harriet the Spy:    Harriet was trying to explain to Sport how to play Town. “See, first you make up the name of the town. Then you write down the names of all the people who live in it. You can’t have too many or it gets too hard. I usually have twenty-five.”    “Ummmmm.” Sport was tossing a football in the air. They were in the courtyard of Harriet’s house on East Eighty-seventh Street in Manhattan.    “Then when you know who lives there, you make up what they do. For instance, Mr. Charles Hanley runs the filling station on…

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