101 Books

Sometimes we forget that authors are normal people just like us. They have likes and dislikes that extend well beyond their writing in the same way we do.

Richard Wright was into Haiku. Jonathan Franzen is an avid bird watcher. Stephen King is a Boston Red Sox fanatic.

But this side interest/hobby might be the most unusual: Vladimir Nabokov was an amateur lepidopterist.

A what? A lepidopterist is someone who is interested in butterflies, and Nabokov had a heavy interest in butterflies.

This story in the Hindustan Times last week describes how Nabokov inherited his passion for butterflies from his parents. When Nabokov was 8, he even took a butterfly to his father’s jail cell after he was imprisoned for his political views in Russia.

According to an article in The New York Times, Nabokov would have become a full-time lepidopterist if his family had not gone into…

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