... Shortly after Solzhenitsyn was deported from the Soviet Union in 1974, he arranged to meet Nabokov and his wife for lunch at the Montreux Palace Hotel. Pitzer’s opening chapter describes the Nabokovs awaiting the arrival of the Soviet Union’s most famous dissident in a private dining room of their hotel. While their personalities and experiences could hardly have been more different, the two writers’ shared hatred of communism would surely have created plenty of common ground for discussion. In the event, Solzhenitsyn never showed up, possibly fearing a put-down from the aristocratic Nabokovs, who indeed thought little of Solzhenitsyn as a writer...