This was the first novel the Russian-born Nabokov wrote in America, where he lived, worked, and taught for a period. Nabokov claims in the introduction not to be interested in politics or books with "messages" (he mean-spiritedly dismissed Orwell), but he and his family had to flee the Bolsheviks and he lived in exile for the rest of his life, so it seems implausible that he totally avoided politics. As Orwell said, "all art is propaganda" and this is a book about a tyrant who controls a police state and of a helpless man caught in its grip. Originally published in 1947. "The term 'bend sinister' means a heraldic bar or band drawn from the left side (and popularly, but incorrectly, supposed to denote bastardry)."-from the introduction
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