Vladimir Vladimirovich Nobokov was born April 22, 1899 in St. Petersburg, Russia to a wealthy family. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge. When he left Russia, he moved to Paris and eventually to the United States in 1940. He taught at Wellesley College and Cornell University. Nobokov is revered as one of the great American novelists of the 20th Century. Before he moved to the United States, he wrote under the pseudonym Vladimir Serin. Among those titles, were Mashenka, his first novel and Invitation to a Beheading. The first book he wrote in English was The Real Life of Sebastian Knight. He is best know for his work Lolita which was made into a movie in 1962. In addition to novels, he also wrote poetry and short stories. Nabokov died July 2, 1977.
Author, artist, literary critic and translator Guy Davenport was born on November 23, 1927 in Anderson, South Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in 1948 and was selected as a Rhodes Scholar. He earned a Bachelor of Literature from Merton College, Oxford University in 1950 and a Doctor of Philosophy from Harvard University in 1961. He taught English at several universities from 1951 until his retirement in 1990. He received numerous awards including the O. Henry Award for short stories, the 1981 Morton Douwen Zabel award for fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and translation awards from PEN and the Academy of American Poets. He died on January 4, 2005 in Lexington, Kentucky.