I randomly picked up a collection of shorts by Vladimir Nabokov, this one. Just as randomly I selected a story, “A Russian Beauty”.
This is one the most amazing shorts I’ve ever read. It’s really quite incredible; it paints a rich, vivid picture of this lady’s life in just a few pages. It distills the salient points of a life to a few moments, all the while capturing the mood of every stage.
If at all you get a chance, read this one. Ten minutes of your life to immerse yourself in real beauty. I haven’t had as much luck with the other stories; they’re very good, but no match for A Russian Beauty.