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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“Cannot fail to arouse bitterness and pain in the heart of the reader. A literary and political event of the first magnitude.” –New Statesman
“Stark . . . the story of how one falsely accused convict and his fellow prisoners survived or perished in an arctic slave labor camp after the war.” –Time
“Both as a political tract and as a literary work, it is in the Doctor Zhivago category.” –Washington Post
“Dramatic . . . outspoken . . . graphically detailed . . . a moving human record.” –Library Journal