About this title:
ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH is a novel written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first published in November 1962 in the Soviet literary magazine Novy Mir (New World). The story is set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s, and describes a single day of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. Its publication was an extraordinary event in Soviet literary history-never before had an account of Stalinist repression been openly distributed. The editor of Novy Mir, Aleksandr Tvardovsky, wrote a short introduction for the issue, titled "Instead of a Foreword," to prepare the journal's readers for what they were about to experience.
The Gulag, the Stalinist labour camps to which millions of Russians were condemned for political deviation, has become a household word in the West. This is due to the accounts of many witnesses, but most of all to the publication, in 1962, of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the novel that first brought Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to public attention. His story of one typical day in a labour camp as experienced by prisoner Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is sufficient to describe the entire world of the Soviet camps.
Translated from the Russian by H. T. Willetts
"A masterpiece in the great Russian tradition. There have been many literary sensations since Stalin died. Doctor Zhivago apart, few of them can stand up in their own right as works of art. Ivan Denisovich is different" (Leonard Schapiro New Statesman)
"For much of the century that he came to dominate, he was simply Russia's greatest writer" ( Guardian)
"Solzhenitsyn's little book on the Soviet camps, One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich, has just been reissued, in a much-improved translation by Harry Willetts. It remains a devastating book - a classical tragedy... Solzhenitsyn is a genius and a hero: Ivan Denisovich stands with Animal Farm." ( Guardian)
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