Cancer Ward

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ,

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Cancer Ward

About the eBook

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970 "for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature." Solzhenitsyn´s novels are autobiographical, presenting a vivid account of a man maintaining his freedom against the vicious repressions of an authoritarian regime. Clearly a novelist in the 19th-century tradition, he is often considered Russia´s greatest 20th-century novelist.

His difficulties with the authorities began on Feb. 8, 1945, when he was arrested for having written critical remarks about Joseph Stalin in a letter to a friend that was intercepted by the censors. Sentenced without a trial to 8 years of hard labor, he remained until 1953 in a number of labor camps, one of which was a research institute where he worked (1953) as a mathematician. In 1952 he contracted cancer of the skin, and was treated (1953) in a hospital in Tashkent (the setting for Cancer Ward). Pronounced cured, he completed his sentence a year later and, although still in exile, was able to teach mathematics and to begin writing.

Cancer Ward examines the relationship of a group of people in the cancer ward of a provincial Soviet hospital in 1955, two years after Stalin´s death. We see them under normal circumstances, and also reexamined at the eleventh hour of illness. Together they represent a remarkable cross-section of contemporary Russian characters and attitudes. The experiences of the central character, Oleg Kostoglotov, closely reflect the author´s own.

Clifton Fadiman called Cancer Ward “The most moving of Solzhenitsyn’s novels.

RosettaBooks is proud to publish this novel by Nobel Laureate Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, one of the most courageous writers of the twentieth century.
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