Solzhenitsyn's first book, this economical, relentless novel is one of the most forceful artistic indictments of political oppression in the Stalin-era Soviet Union. The simply told story of a typical, grueling day of the titular character's life in a labor camp in Siberia, is a modern classic of Russian literature and quickly cemented Solzhenitsyn's international reputation upon publication in 1962. It is painfully apparent that Solzhenitsyn himself spent time in the gulags--he was imprisoned for nearly a decade as punishment for making derogatory statements about Stalin in a letter to a friend.
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“Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a literary genius whose talent matches that of Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Gorky.”—Harrison Salisbury, The New York Times
“A masterpiece…Squarely in the mainstream of Russia’s great literary traditions.”—The Nation
“An extraordinary human document.”—Moscow’s Daily Mail