Study Guide

Olga's Family in A Russian Beauty

By Vladimir Nabokov

Olga's Family

Though minor characters, Olga's family is basically around to ruin her life. They either die or participate in the circumstances of her own death. Her mom dies of typhus and her brother dies by firing squad, effectively ending Olga's happy childhood. Then her dad dies after they've left Russia, leaving Olga to a life of poverty and fending for herself. When Forstmann finally comes along and super unromantically asks Olga to marry him, it sets off the chain of events that leads to her death in childbirth. Family, man—you can't live with them and you can't live without them.

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