Alexander Solzhenitsyn Dies, Gulag Memories Remain


Rediff

Moscow, Aug 4: Russia's Nobel-wining writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn has died of cardiac arrest at his home here, state-run Vesti TV channel reported. He was 89.

Solzhenitsyn was known for his celebrated works like The Gulag Archipelago,' Cancer Ward  and  A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

The Gulag Archipelago unleashed the horrors of the Soviet labour camps, where he himself was imprisoned for eight years.

He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970 after writing harrowing works about Stalin's concentration camps.

He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974 under Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev and his books were banned in the country.

In 1989 under the Perestroika reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev, his books were again allowed in the ex-USSR.

After the Soviet collapse, Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia from the US and travelled to Moscow from the country's east coast and was horrified at the state of the common people under President Boris Yeltsin, with whom he met only once after his return.

A true Russian nationalist, Solzhenitsyn had lauded ex-President Vladimir Putin's [Images] reforms to restore Russia's national glory, but was not very friendly with the political elite of the country and led a secluded life in the countryside.

Last year Solzhenitsyn was also conferred with the State Prize, Russia's highest honour, for his devotion to the "fatherland".

President Medvedev has sent a condolence message to the Solzhenitsyn family, the  Kremlin press office said.

  

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