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Reading Lolita in America: A Panel Discussion with Sarah Weinman, Susan Choi, and Morgan Jerkins

September 26, 2019

More than six decades after publication, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov remains one of the most controversial and iconic novels of the 20th century, one that inspires heated debate for its content—and its most unreliable narrator, Humbert Humbert—and rapturous praise for its inventive language.

The experience of reading (and re-reading) Lolita can’t help but change over time and in response to the culture. Can Dolores Haze, the titular character, ever be centered in the narrative? What do we gain and lose by reading Lolita today?

Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, An Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece, discussed what it is to read Lolita, in America and beyond, with two of her favorite writers: Susan Choi (Trust Exercise), and essayist Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing).