Aleksandr I(sayevich) Solzhenitsyn 1918–
Russian novelist, short story writer, poet, dramatist, and critic.
Solzhenitsyn attained world prominence with One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, an authentic portrayal of life in Joseph Stalin's labor camps, where Solzhenitsyn himself had spent eight years. The novel was among the first works critical of the Stalin era to be published in the Soviet Union. It is widely read by young adults for its powerful treatment of the loss of freedom and for its emotional and philosophical impact. Solzhenitsyn's persistent activities as a dissident and outspoken critic of literary censorship led to his expulsion from the Soviet Union in 1969 and the censorship of his subsequent publications in Russia.
Now living in the United States, Solzhenitsyn continues to write in exile of the oppression in his own land, as well as to speak of his concern for the political and moral problems of the West. Rejecting the precepts of socialist realism, he writes from a Christian point of view, depicting the suffering of the innocent in a world where good and evil vie for the human soul. In this he is thematically linked to the great Russian writers of the nineteenth century. His writing, distinguished by its austere, simple style, shows his compassion and moral concern. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.
(See also CLC, Vols. 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 18 and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 25-28, rev. ed., 69-72.)