Russian Nobel winner Solzhenitsyn dies at 89

August 4th, 2008 - 5:50 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Aug 4 (DPA) Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel prize winner for literature who was exiled from the former Soviet Union for his graphic portrayals of life in Soviet labour camps, died here early Monday. He was 89. The Interfax news agency reported the news quoting literary circles in the Russian capital, where he was living since 1994 after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The world famous writer and historian had not been seen in public for months, and had reportedly been seriously ill for months. He died from the aftermath of a stroke, according to unconfirmed information.

Solzhenitsyn’s main work was the massive “Gulag Archipelago”, first published in the West in 1973, which described the years of Stalinist terror using thousands of details and individual cases.

In 2007, the one-time exile received the highest Russian government award for his work in the humanities - the Russian State Prize.

In announcing the prize last year, Yury Osipov, president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, called Solzhenitsyn “the author of works without which the history of the 20th century is unthinkable.”

One of Solzhenitsyn’s first, most famous books, a slender volume called “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”, appeared in 1963 in English at the height of the Cold War.

It was the story of a former prisoner of war caught by the Germans during World War II, then returned home only to face charges of being a spy - a fate that awaited many POWs returning home to the Soviet Union.

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