Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born on December 11, 1918, in Kislovodsk, Russia. He fought in World War II, but was arrested for criticizing Joseph Stalin and spent 11 years in labor camps and exile. His books, including The Gulag Archipelago, recount his experiences. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970 and the Russian State Prize in 2007. He died in 2008.
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, Russia, on December 11, 1918. His father had studied at Moscow University, but left when World War I broke out and died four years later, in the summer of 1918, leaving Solzhenitsyn's upbringing to his mother. As a child, Solzhenitsyn wanted to be a writer, and by the 1930s he was sending his writings out for publication, to no avail.
Solzhenitsyn attended the University of Rostov-na-Donu and graduated from the department of mathematics and physics, but he soon went on to fight in World War II. His fate would change in 1945, when he was arrested for letters he had written to a school friend that were critical of Joseph Stalin. Subsequent to his arrest, Solzhenitsyn spent eight years in prisons and labor camps and three years in exile.
Second Exile and Later Years
Upon the publication of Arkhipelag Gulag, Solzhenitsyn was charged with treason and exiled from the Soviet Union. He eventually traveled to the United States and settled in the secluded environs of Vermont, where he continued to write.
In 1989, Novy Mir published the first governmentally approved excerpts from Arkhipelag Gulag. Solzhenitsyn's Soviet citizenship was restored a year later, and he returned to Russia four years after that.
In 1998, his autobiography, Ugodilo zernyshko promezh dvukh zhernovov: ocherki izgnaniia (The Little Grain Managed to Land Between Two Millstones: Sketches of Exile), began appearing in installments. Solzhenitsyn died five years after the final installment was published, on August 3, 2008, in Troitse-Lykovo (near Moscow), Russia.
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