From the icy blast of reveille through the sweet release of sleep, Ivan Denisovich endures. A common carpenter, he is one of millions viciously imprisoned for countless years on baseless charges, sentenced to the waking nightmares of the Soviet work camps in Siberia. Even in the face of degrading hatred, where life is reduced to a bowl of gruel and a rare cigarette, hope and dignity prevail. This powerful novel of fact is a scathing indictment of Communist tyranny, and an eloquent affirmation of the human spirit.
The prodigious works of Alexander Solzheenitsyn incuding his acclaimed The Gulag Archipelago, have secured his place in the great tradition of Russian literary giants. Ironically, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is the only one of his works permitted publication in his native land. As a young man, Alexander Solzhenitsyn studied mathematics, physics, and literature. He served with distinction in the Soviet Army during World War II, but after the war, his criticism of Stalin led to his arrest. Solzhenitsyn spent eight years in labor camps, and was released in 1953. In 1962, with the approval of Soviet Premier Khrushchev, he published One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, an account of life in the Soviet Gulag. He denounced Soviet censorship, and his later books were banned. In 1970 he was awarded the Nobel Prize. Eventually his dissident postures became too much for the Soviet government, and in 1974, Solzhenitsyn was expelled. Throughout the years of his exile, Solzhenitsyn never stopped speaking out against Soviet Communism, and he was eventually permitted to return to his country after the fall of Communism.