The Atlantic: The Legend of Vera Nabokov: Why Writers Pine for a Do-It-All Spouse

Aimee Phan, author of the novel The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, says without hesitation that her husband is her Vera. Phan and the poet Matt Shears, both professors at California College of the Arts, have two young children (ages two and five, respectively). Shears prepares 90 percent of the family’s meals these days—a duty he took up after they welcomed their first child. And like the original Vera, Shears is Phan’s “first reader and editor.” But she tries to be his Vera too, referring to herself as the Google calendar mistress, household accountant, and laundress, and Phan says both she and her husband make personal sacrifices to allot as much writing time for one another as possible.

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