Lo's Diary

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Lo's Diary (Italian: Diario di Lo) is a 1995 novel (ISBN 0964374021) by Pia Pera, retelling Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita from the point of view of "Dolores Haze (Lolita)".[1][2][3]

It depicts Dolores as a sadist and a controller of everyone around her; for instance, she enjoys killing small animals. It also says that Dolores did not die in childbirth, Humbert Humbert did not kill Quilty, and that all three are still alive.[4][5] Most notably, the novel takes the interpretation of Humbert as being unattractive or repulsive: he even loses his teeth at one point.


Reception was mixed to negative, with critics agreeing that it did not live up to the source material. Entertainment Weekly said it "drags down Nabokov's blackly satiric vision, set in atomic-age suburban America, to the level of a cynical 1990s teen sex comedy".[6]

Kirkus Reviews considered it "a mix of wit and tedium in near-equal parts".[7] Publishers Weekly found it to be "compelling", with "Nabokov's subtle and elegant prose" being replaced by an "authentic adolescent tone";[8] Time, however, felt that the prose was "undistinguished" and "far too precocious and knowing for even the brightest kid".[9]

Legal issues[edit]

In 1998, Dmitri Nabokov (Vladimir's son, and executor of his father's literary estate) sued to stop the publication of the book in England, France, and the United States,[10] claiming copyright infringement. Farrar, Straus and Giroux cancelled their planned publication pending the outcome of the lawsuit;[10] eventually, a settlement was reached whereby Nabokov would contribute a preface to the book[11] and receive half the royalty payments with a $25,000 advance (which he donated to PEN International).[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Bondanella, Andrea Ciccarelli. The Cambridge Companion to the Italian Novel. Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 1139826107.
  2. ^ Dmitri Nabokov (23 August 1999). "On a book entitled "Lo's Diary"" (Opinion piece). Nerve Opinions. Nerve.com Inc. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  3. ^ Pia Pera (9 September 1999). "Lo's Diary (Chapter 11)" (Extract from novel). Nerve Fiction. Nerve.com Inc. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  4. ^ Ralph Blumenthal (10 October 1998). "Nabokov's Son Files Suit to Block a Retold `Lolita'". The New York Times on the web: Arts. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  5. ^ Richard Corliss (10 October 1999). "Humming Along With Nabokov" (Article). Time Magazine World. Time Inc. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  6. ^ Charles Winecoff. "Lo's Diary". Entertainment Weekly, 29 October 1999.
  7. ^ "LO'S DIARY". Kirkus Reviews, 15 September 1999.
  8. ^ Lo's Diary, reviewed at Publishers Weekly; published August 30, 1999; retrieved November 13, 2018
  9. ^ Humming Along With Nabokov, by Richard Corliss, in Time; published October 10, 1999; retrieved November 13, 2018
  10. ^ a b Lolita and the Lawyers, by Martin Garbus, in the New York Times; published September 26, 1999; retrieved November 13, 2018
  11. ^ Reading Nabokov to Nabokov, by Lila Azam Zanganeh; at the Daily Beast; published February 28 2012; retrieved November 13, 2018
  12. ^ Little Lo Lost in a Literary Feud, by Alexandra Gill, originally published in the Globe and Mail, October 16, 1999; republished in The Evergreen Review, issue 103; retrieved November 13, 2018

External links[edit]