By Nabokov's own account, he completed Lolita
in Ithaca at the end of 1953. Over the course of 1954, he tried but failed to find a U.S. publisher willing to take the risk of handling the book. Disheartened, Nabokov wrote to Madame Ergaz, his literary agent at the Bureau Littéraire Clairouin in Paris, seeking her help in finding a European firm willing to publish the book in English. Nabokov sent his typescript of Lolita
to Madame Ergaz in April 1955, and she placed the book with Maurice Girodias at the Olympia Press, Paris.