Last week Publishers Weekly released one of the earliest reviews of “The Original of Laura: (Dying Is Fun),” the last manuscript that Vladimir Nabokov left behind–a book coming out from Knopf this fall.
The review reminds readers not to expect a novel, or anything resembling a final product. The author left behind the manuscript on a series of 138 notecards, and ordered his family to destroy them when he died in 1977. The hardcover book will feature photos of each card, matched with transcripts of the notecard text on the facing page. His son decided to publish after a spooky encounter.
Here’s a brief sample from the review: “Nabokov’s handwritten index cards are reproduced with a transcription below of each card’s contents, generally less than a paragraph. The scanned index cards (perforated so they can be removed from the book) are what make this book an amazing document; they reveal Nabokov’s neat handwriting (a mix of cursive and print) and his own edits to the text: some lines are blacked out with scribbles, others simply crossed out.”