Pifer, Ellen

Ellen Pifer is Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Delaware. She wrote her PhD dissertation at the University of California, Berkeley, on Nabokov under leading early Nabokovians Simon Karlinsky and Robert Alter. Revised and published as Nabokov and the Novel (Harvard, 1980), this was the first book-length study to argue for an ethical reading of Nabokov's fiction and his style. She was also a distinguished scholar of Saul Bellow (Saul Bellow Against the Grain, U Pennsylvania P, 1991), whom Nabokov did not care for. In comparative literature, she wrote on images of childhood in modern literature and culture, in Demon or Doll: Images of the Child in Contemporary Writing and Culture (U Virginia P, 2000). A major focus there, of course, was Lolita, on which she edited Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita: A Casebook (Oxford, 2003).