Lev Ganin is a young officer sharing a boarding house in Berlin with a host of Russian emigres. Alone in his room, he dreams of his first love, Mary. Awash with memories of youth and idyllic scenes of pre-Revolution Russia, Ganin becomes convinced that Mary is in fact the wife of a fellow-boarder, due to arrive at this very house soon. He longs for her arrival, when he can whisk her away and leave everything behind.
Vladimir Nabokov was born in 1899 in St Petersburg. He wrote his first literary works in Russian, but rose to international prominence as a masterly prose stylist for the novels he composed in English, most famously, Lolita. Between 1923 and 1940 he published novels, short stories, plays, poems and translations in the Russian language and established himself as one of the most outstanding Russian emigre writers. He died in 1977.