Nina Berberova was brought up in St. Petersburg. She and her companion Vladislav Khodasevich, a poet, lived in the household of Maxim Gorky for some years before leaving Russia in 1922 and eventually settling in Paris. She became part of a distinguished literary circle, and wrote short stories and novels about Russian émigrés such as herself. Khodasevich died in 1939, and in 1950 Nina Berberova moved to the USA, where she taught herself English and worked as a clerk before becoming a professor of Russian literature at Princeton University. Her autobiography is titled (in English) The Italics Are Mine. In 1985, her novel written in French were rediscovered by Hubert Nyssen, director of the publishing house Actes Sud, which began to re-issue her works.