Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

(December 11th 1918 — August 3rd, 2008)

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (Александр Исаевич Солженицын) was a Russian novelist and short story writer. He was known for being an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and for his imprisonment in both a Gulag labour camp and internal exile.

Solzhenitsyn helped raise international awareness of both of these prison systems at a time when little was known about their existence.

During his youth, he did not question the beliefs of the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn served in the Soviet Army in World War II and was a decorated soldier. He witnessed atrocities committed by the Soviet Army and was arrested for criticizing Joseph Stalin in a private letter

He was only allowed to publish one of his novels in Russia: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Although he was freed from exile in 1956, his foreign publications of Cancer Ward (1968), August 1914 (1971), and The Gulag Archipelago (1973) caused him to lose his citizenship in 1974. He left to West Germany and then moved to the United States and continued to write about his experiences.

His Russian citizenship was restored shortly before the Soviet Union dissolved. In 1994, he returned to Russia and remained there until his death in 2008.

Solzhenitsyn won the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature. His work has been highly influential.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is a book author.

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