Since 30 years I was fully aware that Sirin NaBoakOff was one of the great fiction artists of the 20th century. I didn't need a young beautiful Iranian woman (born in Paris, apparently living in the US, teaching in Harvard, writing multilingual reviews for leading papers of the world) to come and tell me about it. She was born just shortly before he died. Her family shared similarities of fate with Nab's: like his father had to take his family out of Russia after the Soviet revolution, hers had to flee Iran when the Mullahs took over.
My personal entry to Nabokov's wonderland was Pale Fire, and I was hooked for good. At a later stage I read Lolita. That had made him rich and famous and infamous, but I half regretted that he wrote it, though not because there is anything wrong with it. It is just so prone to misinterpretation.
Several of my friends around amazon are unwilling to appreciate Nabokov. Lolita was frequently the trigger for that lamentable negativity. One of my friends, a very funny woman normally, even considers Nabokov tedious. Amazing.
Obviously, he was also not appreciated by the left wing critics of the 60s and 70s, which made him disappear somewhat from public awareness. That was, as far as I remember, the reason why I got to know him so late in my reading 'career'. I do remember that I owe my meeting with Pale Fire to a book by Anthony Burgess from the 80s. He published his list of '99 best English novels', with reviews, and that included Pale Fire and Lolita.
I was beginning to think that Nabokov works only for grumpy old men.
And here comes Lila Azam Zanganeh and is as enchanted by Nabokov as I am. That makes me feel younger by decades. I hope she finds a new audience and does not just preach to the choir.
She chose a book title that is itself a provocation: `Enchanter' was the title of an initially unpublished precursor to Lolita. Clearly Nabokov had been preoccupied with the pedophilia subject. Does that make him a pedophile? Hardly. He also wrote stories about incest and murder. Does that incriminate him? Hardly.
LAZ bases her Nab-rave mainly on 3 of his books: Lolita, Ada, and Speak, Memory. Only the last of these three (written first) is among Nab's very best, in my view, but Lila raves. She structures her non-essay like a trip through Alice in Wonderland. (As a student in Cambridge, Nabokov had translated Alice into Russian.) The book is biographical in a non-pedantic way, and text oriented.
I can't think of a better introduction to whet skeptics' appetite for more.