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.
Martin Amis, son of the novelist Kingsley Amis, was born August 25, 1949. His childhood was spent traveling with his famous father. From 1969 to 1971 he attended Exeter College at Oxford University. After graduating, he worked for the Times Literary Supplement and later as special writer for the Observer. Amis published his first novel, The Rachel Papers, in 1973, which received the prestigious Somerset Maugham Award in 1974. Other titles include Dead Babies (1976), Other People: A Mystery Story (1981); London Fields (1989), The Information (1995), and Night Train (1997). Martin Amis has been called the voice of his generation. His novels are controversial, often satiric and dark, concentrating on urban low life. His style has been compared to that of Graham Greene, Philip Larkin and Saul Bellow, among others. He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. In 2008, The Times named him one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.