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One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

The only English translation authorized by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

First published in the Soviet journal Novy Mir in 1962, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich stands as a classic of contemporary literature. The story of labor-camp inmate Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, it graphically describes his struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of communist oppression. An unforgettable portrait of the entire world of Stalin’s forced work camps, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is one of the most extraordinary literary documents to have emerged from the Soviet Union and confirms Solzhenitsyn’s stature as “a literary genius whose talent matches that of Dosotevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy”–Harrison Salisbury

This unexpurgated 1991 translation by H. T. Willetts is the only authorized edition available, and fully captures the power and beauty of the original Russian.

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr[a] Isayevich[b] Solzhenitsyn[c] (11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008)[6][7] was a Russian novelist, philosopher, historian, short story writer and political prisoner. Solzhenitsyn was an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and Communism and helped to raise global awareness of its Gulag labor camp system.

After serving in the Soviet Army during World War II, he was sentenced to spend eight years in a labour camp and then internal exile for criticizing Josef Stalin in a private letter. He was allowed to publish only one work in the Soviet Union, the novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962). Although the reforms brought by Nikita Khrushchev freed him from exile in 1956, the publication of Cancer Ward (1968), August 1914 (1971), and The Gulag Archipelago (1973) beyond the Soviet Union angered authorities, and Solzhenitsyn lost his Soviet citizenship in 1974. He was flown to West Germany, and in 1976 he moved with his family to the United States, where he continued to write. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, his citizenship was restored in 1990, and four years later he returned to Russia, where he remained until his death in 2008.

He was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature "for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature".[8] His The Gulag Archipelago was a highly influential work that "amounted to a head-on challenge to the Soviet state"[9] and sold tens of millions of copies.

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