Nocturnal Butterflies of the Russian Empire (Paperback)
Grove Press, 9780802138651, 322pp.
Publication Date: December 17, 2001
Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (9/8/2015)
Now in paperback, Nocturnal Butterflies of the Russian Empire was acclaimed by The Hartford Courant as "a thrilling discovery ... a reversal of the letters [of] Saul Bellow's Herzog ... [with] a Nabokovian delight in words and texts." J. is a smuggler living in Russia, making his living fencing the flotsam of communism's collapse. In Istanbul he takes a commission to trap an endangered Russian butterfly and decides to use it as an opportunity to smuggle V., his Russian lover who has no papers, back into her homeland. In the port of Odessa, she disappears, and J. continues alone to a small village on the Black Sea. Letters from V. begin to arrive, and as J. hunts the butterfly, he seeks a way to lure V. back into his life. Equal parts bittersweet love story, international intrigue, and one man's quest to write the perfect love letter, Nocturnal Butterflies of the Russian Empire, wrote The Tennessean, is "an amazing jewel of a story ... that winks with wit [and] wears its astonishing craftsmanship lightly." "An aesthetically blissful reading experience ... Nabokov's spirit, alive and kind, has touched [Prieto] with its butterfly wings." -- Aleksandar Hemon, The Village Voice Literary Supplement "...Nocturnal Butterflies is an impressive performance by a writer whose gifts are clearly abundant." -- Richard Bernstein, The New York Times "A beautiful, lavish, seedy, poetic, and magical book.... Pure pleasure for the literary mind." -- Chris Kridler, The Baltimore Sun