The year is 1937, and Nabokov is in the grip of a passionate love affair in Paris, all the while sending tender letters full of affection that a person couldn’t fake back to Véra, who is in Berlin with their son. And yet he is … he is with another woman. Soon after his reunion with his family in Czechoslovakia in May 1937, Nabokov wrote the story ‘Cloud, Castle, Lake’ in which he talks about addressing a real person, the only woman he has ever loved but cannot be with. And there is an otherworldly feminine presence there, too, present in the lives of both the main character and his fictional creator. This incredible story about a Russian émigré is set in Nazi Germany. So, what is one to make of all that? Grayson addresses Nabokov’s affair soberly and with clinical precision and artful brevity.