The story starts with a fictional foreword by John Ray Jr. , PhD, an editor of psychology books. In it, Ray writes that he's presenting the details of a memoir entitled The Confession of a White Widowed Male written by a literary scholar of mixed European ethnicity who died recently in an American jail of heart disease while awaiting his murder trial. The memoir's author uses the pseudonym Humbert Humbert to refer to himself in the manuscript. Humbert begins the memoir with his Parisian childhood and ends it with his incarceration. The story is told entirely from Humbert's perspective. Ray says he received the memoir from Humbert's lawyer, C. C. Clark, and adds that he (Ray) has changed the names of the people mentioned in it to protect their identities except for one: "Lolita"; the nickname Humbert used to refer to the young girl with whom he was sexually obsessed. Ray notes that Lolita died in 1952 while giving birth to a stillborn girl on Christmas Day while married to Richard Schiller, presumably the father of her child.