Please join Ben McNally Books and Knopf Canada in celebrating the release of Sarah Weinman‘s gripping true-crime book The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World.
Sarah will be in conversation with Anne T. Donahue, author of the essay collection Nobody Cares
Monday September 24
6 to 8pm
OMAW, 88 Ossington Ave
(at the corner of Ossington and Humbert)
Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time, selling over sixty million copies worldwide to date. Yet very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was derived from a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner.
Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner’s full story for the very first time. Drawing upon extensive investigations, legal documents, old news stories, public records, and interviews with remaining relatives, Sarah Weinman establishes with authority how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita. As she walks us through Sally’s story, Weinman takes us on an intimate and panoramic tour of mid-century America, from Sally’s home in Camden, New Jersey, to her place of rescue in California, and back to the East Coast again.
The story of Sally Horner echoes the stories of countless girls and women who never had the chance to speak for themselves. By diving deeper in the publication history of Lolita and restoring Sally to her rightful place in the lore of the novel’s creation, The Real Lolita casts a new light on the dark inspiration for a modern classic.
Sarah Weinman is the editor of Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s (Library of America) and Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives (Penguin). She covers book publishing for Publishers Marketplace, and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Republic, the Guardian, Buzzfeed, the National Post (where she was the “Crime Wave” columnist) the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s and Hazlitt, where the story that inspired this book appeared. Her Hazlitt features have twice been nominated for National Magazine Awards. A native of Ottawa and a graduate of McGill University, as well as of John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s forensic science graduate program, Weinman lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Anne T. Donahue is a writer and person from Cambridge, Ontario. Her work has appeared in publications and websites such as Esquire, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Nylon, Flare, and Rookie. She is the host the podcast Nobody Cares (Except Me), and she appears weekly as a culture contributor on CBC’s q. You can absolutely find her on Twitter and Instagram at @annetdonahue, baking or screaming into the night.