Dear Bunny, Dear Volodya
Alex Beam and Gerald Howard
Dear Bunny, Dear Volodya: The Friendship and the Feud is playwright Terry Quinn’s artful and poignant “dramatic dialogue” based on the quarter-century-long correspondence between novelist Vladimir Nabokov and The New Yorker editor and critic Edmund Wilson. First published in the Paris Review, Quinn’s epistolary drama was performed numerous times in the US and abroad, often with William F. Buckley playing the part of Wilson, and Nabokov’s son, Dmitri, playing the part of his father.
At the Athenæum’s reading, Boston Globe contributing columnist Alex Beam will play Nabokov and Random House executive editor Gerald Howard will play Wilson. Beam and Howard respectively wrote and edited The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson and the End of a Beautiful Friendship (December 2016, Pantheon Books). A book signing of The Feud will follow this dramatic reading.
Alex Beam is a columnist for the Boston Globe and former Moscow bureau chief at Business Week. He has published two novels and four works of nonfiction, two of were named New York Times Notable Books. In addition to writing for the Globe, Beam is a columnist for Architecture Boston magazine and a guest commentator for the WGBH radio show Boston Public Radio. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife and three sons.
Gerald Howard is Executive Editor at Doubleday, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, n+1 magazine, the Chronicle Review, and other publications.
Check out Vladimir Nabokov’s four-volume translation of Aleksandr Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, a project that fueled the feud between Nabokov and Edmund Wilson. Or, borrow Literary Rivals: Feuds and Antagonisms in the World of Books by Richard Bradford for insights into other famous rivalries.
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