Vladimir Nabokov was one of the great writers of the 20th century.
He was also highly opinionated. As a new biography by Andrea Pitzer, "The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov" points out, "He dismissed Hemingway, Henry James, Balzac, Ezra Pound, Stendhal, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann, Andre Gide, Andre Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre, and women novelists as a group. While he sometimes disapproved of the phrase, Vladmir Nabokov had become an avator of art for art's sake: a playful experimenter for whom stylistic needs of story trumped all moral consideration."
Anchor Marco Werman interviews Pitzer about her new biography looks past Nabokov's style and stark opinions to how the historical events he experienced shaped his life and work.