If You Want to Read Nabokov’s Laura Early, You’ll Have to Make a House Call to Knopf

On Friday afternoon we ran through some of the most exciting galleys hitting the streets this summer. One we didn’t include was The Original of Laura, the final, unfinished novella from the late Vladimir Nabokov, which Knopf will be publishing on November 17. The reason Laura didn’t make it on our list was that we couldn’t find anyone who had actually seen a galley of it. Today, Knopf’s executive director of publicity, Paul Bogaards, provided an explanation via email. It appears that, due to serial rights agreements with publications in the U.S. and in the U.K. (read all about how Playboy won the first serial rights to Laura here), no galleys have been produced or distributed. 

“They are not available (and will not be available),” Mr. Bogaards said in his note. “We have instead printed two sets of page proofs and are inviting media colleagues to preview them at our offices. They are not leaving the building.” 

Evidently aware of the power of advance galleys to attract attention in public settings, Mr. Bogaards added: “If you were to chance upon someone with a set of the Laura page proofs and the moment turned amorous, I would urge a note of caution.”