A favorite among academic reading lists and often compared to Russian greats like Tolstoy, notable author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn recently passed away at the age of 89. Born in Kislovodosk, Russia, the celebrated writer based his debut work on his own experiences serving an almost decade-long prison sentence. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the well-known novella that may have graced your required reading list at some point, depicts a prisoner’s life in Stalin’s concentration camps. The work quickly drew attention and praise from around the world, and Solzhenitsyn followed with esteemed works such as The Gulag Archipelago, 1918:1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, The First Circle, and Cancer Ward. The writings garnered Solzhenitsyn further acclaim, and in 1970, he was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for literature. Four years later, however, he was exiled from the USSR. Solzhenitsyn immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Vermont, where he continued to write. Following the fall of the communist regime in the Soviet Union, he moved back to Moscow in 1994, where he lived until his death on August 3, 2008.
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