Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn dies aged 89

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has died today aged 89. As well as a novelist he was also a dramatist and historian.

Solzhenitsyn served with the Red Army in World War Two but became one of the most prominent dissidents of the Soviet era. He spent eight years in a Soviet Gulag. Solzhenitsyn criticized the Allies for not opening a new front against Nazi Germany in the west earlier in World War II. In 1970 he was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature but was charged with treason and exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev restored Solzhenitsyn's citizenship in 1990 and the treason charge was finally dropped in 1991. He returned to Russia in 1994.

Some of his most famous works include One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich and his non-fiction works The Gulag Archipelago and Cancer Ward. It appears he has died of either a stroke or a heart attack.