Mr. Ennis escaped Russia in 1906 at the age of twenty-one to seek his fortune in America and to avoid the Czar’s draft.
He learned English from reading girlie magazines. His literary tastes took a turn for the better while reading Lolita, the masterpiece of his fellow Russian emigré Vladimir Nabokov. This experience taught him that erotica is compatible with fancy prose.
Either through shyness or a wish to keep his moral reputation impeccable, he kept many of his book reviews and other scribblings in a shoebox, which he stashed behind a still in his landlady’s attic. At the time of his death in 1958 he was working on a Tolstoy-sized novel on post-Revolutionary Russia entitled Nyet! This unfinished manuscript was discovered by an anonymous editor, who, with a grant from the National Endowment for Dead Writers, is currently translating the book from Russian into Yiddish. It is due for publication in 2020.
Ennis was posthumously awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002, though the news of this honor has been kept from the American public by the influential New York publishing establishment. This slight of Mr. Ennis, whose work is well-known in Europe, is considered by experts to be a major cause of the rift between America and the Continent.
Mr. Ennis remains active despite his wife’s decision to follow his instructions to cremate him; though his brain now shares the ashen state of his former body, it is still able to function—read, write, talk, etc.—with the aid of his non-deceased companion, Ms. Betty Bedwell.