Picture of author.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008)

Author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

390+ Works 39,052 Members 470 Reviews 103 Favorited

About the Author

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born on December 11, 1918 in Kislovodsk in the northern Caucusus Mountains. He received a degree in physics and math from Rostov University in 1941. He served in the Russian army during World War II but was arrested in 1945 for writing a letter criticizing Stalin. He show more spent the next decade in prisons and labor camps and, later, exile, before being allowed to return to central Russia, where he worked as a high school science teacher. His first novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, was published in 1962. In 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1974, he was arrested for treason and exiled following the publication of The Gulag Archipelago. He moved to Switzerland and later the U. S. where he continued to write fiction and history. When the Soviet Union collapsed, he returned to his homeland. His other works include The First Circle and The Cancer Ward. He died due to a heart ailment on August 3, 2008 at the age of 89. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the names: Solženicyn, Solzhenitsyn, Solzjenitsyn,, A Soljenitsyne, A. SOLJENITSIN, Soljenitsyne a., Soljenitsine a., Al Solzhenitsyn, A. Solzhenitsyn, A. Solzjenitsyn, A.I. Solzjenitsyn, Ivan Solzhenitsyn, Solzhenitsyn A.I., A. I. Solzhenitsyn, Alexan Soljenitsyne, Solzhenitsyn Aleksa, Alexan Solzhenitsyn, Aleksa Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Solzenicyn, Solgenicyn Aleksandr, Alexandr Soljenitsin, Solschenizyn Alexand, Solženicyn Alexandr, solzhenitsynalexaned, ALEXANDR SOLJENITSIN, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr Solzjenitsyn, Alexander Solyenitzin, Aleksandr Soljenitsin, Aleksandr Solzenitsyn, Alexander Solzenitsyn, Aleksandar SOLZENYCIN, ALexander Solzhenisin, Alksandr Solzjenitsyn, Alexandr Solzhinitsyn, Alexandr Solzhenitsin, Alexander Sozhenitsyn, Alexander Solzhnitsyn, Aleksadr Solzhenitsyn, Aleksander Solzenicyn, Alexander Soljenitsin, Alexandr Solzhenitzen, Alexander Soljenitsin, Alexandre Soljenitsyn, Aleksàndr Solzenicyn, Alexander Solzenitsin, Alexandr Solschenizyn, Aleksandr Solženicyn, Alexandre Soljenitsin, Aleksaner Solzenitsyn, aleksanr Solzhenitsyn, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, Solzhenitsyn; Alexandr, Alexander Solsjenitsyn, Alexander Solsjenitsyn, Alexandder Solzhentsyn, Aleksandr Solzhenitcyn, Alexander Solzjenitsyn, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Alexandar Solzhenitsyn, Soljenitsyne Alexandre, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Aleksander Solzenitsyn, Alexander Salzhenitsyn, Alexander Solzjenitsyn, Alexander Solzhenitzin, Alexandr Solzhenítsin, Solzhenitsyn Alexander, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Zolzhenitsyn, Solschenizyn Alexander, Alexander Slozhenitsyn, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Alexander Solzhenitzyn, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Alexander Solshenitsyn, Aleksandr Soljenítsyn, Alexander Solschenizyn, Aleksander Solzenitsyn, Alexandre Soljenítsin, Alexandre Soljenítsin, Alexander Solschenizin, Alexandre Soljenitsyne, Alexander Solzhenitzen, Aleksandr Solženitsyn, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Alexander Solzhenitsin, Alexandre Soljenitsine, Alexander Soljenítsin, Alenander Solzhenitsyn, Alexander Solzenhitsyn, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, Alexander Solschenitzin, Alkedander Solzhenitsyn, Solzhhenitsyn Aleksandr, Aleksander Solsjenitsyn, aleksandr i solzhentsyn, Alexandre Soljénitsyne, Alexandr I. Solzenitsyn, Aleksandr Solziienitsyn, Aleksander Solženitsyn, Aleksander Sołżenicyn, Anlexander Solzhenitsyn, Alexander Solzhenistsyn, Aleksandr Solzhenintsyn, Aleksandr Solženitsõn, Alexandre Soljénitsine, Alexandre Soljénitsyne, Allexander Solschenizyn, Aleksandr Solzehenitsyn, ソルジェニツィン, А. Солженицин, А. Солженицын, Alekszandr Szolzsenyicin, Alexander Solzhenietisyn, Aleksandr I. Sozhenitsyn, А. Солженицын, Aleksandr I Solvhenitsyn, Aleksandr I. Solženicyn, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsen, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn I., Aleksandr I. Solzhenitysn, Solzhenitsyn Aleksandr I., Aleksandr Sol@02C7zenicyn, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Soljénitsyne (Alexandre), ソルジェニーツィン, Солженицин А.И., А.И. Солженицын, etc. Solzhenitsyn Aleksandr, Aleksandar Solženicin, А. И. Солженицын, Aleksandr Isaevic Solzenicyn, Aleksandr Solženitsõn, Alexandre Soljénitsyne, Aleksandr Isaevič Solženicyn, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenityn, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenisyn, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenstyn, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevič Solschenizyn, Solzhenitsyn Aleksandr Isaevich, Aleksandr Isaevitch Soljenitsyne, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzheniitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhennitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenidt8syn, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenittssyn, Aleksander Isaevich Solzhenitisyn, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenietisyn, Alexander Solzhenitsyn; Ralph Parker, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenit͡syn, Александр Солженицын, Александр Солженицын, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzheni&þacute;syn, Alexander Isaievitch Soljenítsin (1918-), Aleksandr Isaevich Solzheniëtìsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzheni&tacute;&sgrave;yn, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn / Alexandr Solzhenitsin, trans. by H. T. Willetts Alexander Solzhenitsyn,  s,¡yn Solzhenit, Aleksandr Isaevich, Aleksandr; Max (translator) Solzhenitsyn Hayward, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (H.T.Willetts translator), Aleksandr Isaevich Igor; Solzhenitsyn Shafarevich, Солжени Александр Исаевич, Александр Исаевич Солжениц, Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenit¸ s¸&, Alexander Solzhenitsyn; Translators Nicholas Bethe, אלכסנדר איסביץ סולז'ניצין, আলেকজান্ডার সলঝেনিৎসিন

Image credit: Chatting with Putin


Works by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Cancer Ward (1968) 3,530 copies
The First Circle (1968) 2,455 copies
August 1914 (1971) 2,385 copies
Stories and Prose Poems (1963) 463 copies
Lenin in Zurich (1975) 426 copies
We Never Make Mistakes (1963) 319 copies
For the Good of the Cause (1963) 305 copies
November 1916 (1983) 273 copies
Warning to the West (1976) 220 copies
From Under the Rubble (1974) 181 copies
Letter to the Soviet Leaders (1974) 167 copies
Candle in the Wind (1960) 135 copies
Invisible allies (1995) 102 copies
Cancer Ward: Part 1 (1968) 87 copies
Cancer Ward: Part 2 (1968) 77 copies
Prussian Nights: A Poem (1951) 66 copies
The First Circle, Part 1 (1969) 56 copies
The First Circle, Part 2 (1973) 44 copies
Reparto C (1973) 21 copies
Arquipélago Gulag (2019) 17 copies
L'errore dell'Occidente (1980) 17 copies
Ivan Denisovitšin päivä (1973) 16 copies
Große Erzählungen (1974) 15 copies
La Russie sous l'avalanche (1998) 14 copies
Matryona's House (1979) 12 copies
Deux récits de guerre (1999) 11 copies
Le Déclin du courage (2014) 10 copies
Discorsi americani (1975) 9 copies
Oktober sexton, Vol. 2 (1985) 9 copies
Prisoners: A Play (1983) 9 copies
Oktober sexton, Vol. 1 (1984) 8 copies
Zacharie l'escarcelle (1971) 8 copies
Nos jeunes (1997) 7 copies
Ama la rivoluzione! (2007) 7 copies
Vivere senza menzogna (1975) 6 copies
Voices from the Gulag (2010) 6 copies
Fahrenheit 451 6 copies
Etudes et miniatures (2004) 6 copies
Les droits de l'écrivain (1972) 6 copies
Tutto il teatro 4 copies
Kontinent 4 copies
Schwenkitten (2004) 4 copies
Journal de la roue rouge (2018) 4 copies
Révolution et mensonge (2018) 4 copies
Rusudes Venemaa (2001) 3 copies
Le clocher de Kaliazine (2008) 3 copies
Le Chemin des forçats (2014) 2 copies
Nos pluralistes (1983) 2 copies
Between two millstones (2018) 2 copies
The Cancer Ward (1968) 2 copies
Dorozhenka (2004) 2 copies
LeseLust Rußland. (1989) 2 copies
Rasskazy (2005) 2 copies
Six Etudes (1971) 2 copies
Rusia. Volumen 2 — Contributor — 2 copies
ARCHIPIELAGO GULAG I (2010) 2 copies
Rasskazy, 1993 - 1999 (2003) 1 copy
Souostroví Gulag II. (1976) 1 copy
el_error_de_occidente (1982) 1 copy
Västerlandets misstag (1981) 1 copy
Souostroví Gulag III. (1982) 1 copy
Dva veka zajedno. 2 (2018) 1 copy
rusija u provaliji (1999) 1 copy
EL PRIMER CÍRCULO. (1971) 1 copy
Août quatorze, tome 1 (1993) 1 copy
Reparto C 1 copy
Agosto 1914 1 copy
Obras escogidas (1974) 1 copy
Rasskazy (2019) 1 copy
Cancer ward 1 copy
Húsvéti körmenet (1994) 1 copy
August 1914 1 copy
Apricot jam 1 copy
Пьесы (1990) 1 copy
Tsar. Stolypin. Lenin (2009) 1 copy
Colloque de Cerisy (1975) 1 copy
Arhipelagul Gulag I (2008) 1 copy
Kraeftafdelingen (1974) 1 copy
Reparto C 1 copy
March 1917 (1986) 1 copy
1974 1 copy
Ego e sul limitare (1996) 1 copy
Ego (2012) 1 copy
Ti Vatriona 1 copy
Racconti di guerra (2014) 1 copy
L'erreur et l'Occident (1981) 1 copy
Matrionina chalupa (2003) 1 copy

Associated Works


1001 (111) 1001 books (109) 20th century (644) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (107) autobiography (173) biography (213) classic (310) classics (353) communism (670) fiction (3,413) gulag (559) historical fiction (402) history (1,456) literature (1,071) memoir (200) Nobel Prize (207) non-fiction (724) novel (695) political prisoners (119) politics (321) prison (234) prison camp (104) read (232) Roman (158) Russia (2,186) Russian (1,130) Russian fiction (174) Russian History (351) Russian literature (1,666) short stories (148) Siberia (101) Solzhenitsyn (296) Soviet (134) Soviet Union (1,018) Stalin (148) to-read (1,456) totalitarianism (122) translation (254) unread (238) WWI (223)

Common Knowledge



Solzhenitsyn 1918 - 2008 in Fans of Russian authors (October 2021)
Group Read, July 2019: The First Circle in 1001 Books to read before you die (July 2019)
Group Read, December 2016: The First Circle in 1001 Books to read before you die (January 2017)
The Gulag Archipelago by Sozhenitsyn in Fans of Russian authors (September 2010)
Best Translation of Gulag Archipelago in Fans of Russian authors (June 2008)
Best Translation of Gulag Archipelago in Fans of Russian authors (June 2008)
Solzhenitsyn in Fans of Russian authors (August 2007)


Note: This is my fourth review of a non-fiction book, first on good reads. As a policy I don't give ratings for non-fiction works, I'm perfectly happy to let my personal biases reflect my opinions of non-fiction work, but I'd rather reflect on non-fiction as it is, than let how much I agree with it impact how much I like it

I just got around to reading Solzhenitsyn's 'The Gulag Archipelago', I read the abridged because I'm too much of a pussy to read 3 volumes of this.

The more recent editions prologue is written by Jordan Peterson, I didn't hate the prologue, I actually largely like Peterson as controversial as that is, but I do think that took away from the rest of the book. Peterson was (unsurprisingly) far more political than the book intended to be and probably would have turned some readers off from an otherwise highly valuable book

I learned a lot more about the operations of secret police than I expected too.

On the treatment of people in gulags, in some ways, it was much better than I expected, in some ways it was worse. My expectations were pretty low so I guess that was unsurprising.

We then get to the line, Solzhenitsyn's most famous quote, one I was familiar with well before reading this book, it's poetic, and probably would have been even more profound in the unabridged than the abridged version. "In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible", I mean maybe I'm wrong but had I read more about Solzhenitsyn's backstory, much of which, as I've been told, was cut from the unabridged version that already powerful quote might have been even moreso

But one thing I didn't know before reading which I love even more now, was directly after that quote, Solzhenitsyn says something I've been echoing for years, the importance of the Nuremberg trials. Putting evil on trial and actually giving evil a fair trial when doing so

I actually view the Nuremberg trials alongside the US Constitution as two of the pinnacles of morality in human history, and I was really happy to see Solzhenitsyn had similar sentiments, especially because he's a much better person than I am
… (more)
Eutheria | 28 other reviews | Apr 18, 2024 |
This book is pretty much exactly what you'd expect. It's a day in the life of a man in a Soviet labor camp/gulag. I wouldn't say I enjoyed reading it, but it was fine. I'm not sure I really got much out of it since I feel like no matter what you can never *really* understand what it was these people went through. Like he said a warm man can never really understand a cold one. It was good, but I just can't really bring myself to be enthusiastic about it? This just feels like a book you'd read in high school to learn empathy and yeah I'm empathetic but IDK maybe I'm being too harsh. It was pretty good all things considered and I can see why it's historically important as well.… (more)
ZetaRiemann | 200 other reviews | Apr 9, 2024 |
First published in 1962, this was the first book that openly talked about life in the Soviet gulag system. The story is very simple, it follows a single day in the life of a former Russian solider, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, now serving 10 years hard labour in Siberia after being falsely accused of treason because he was an escaped German POW.

The authorities claimed that "he’d returned from captivity to carry out a mission for German intelligence. What sort of mission neither Shukhov nor the interrogator could say…. Shukhov had it all figured out. If he didn’t sign he’d be shot. If he signed he’d still get a chance to live. So he signed."

The thing about this book that really struck me was that nothing really happens and is almost devoid of any emotions. Shukhov is counting the days down to his supposed release date with no idea as to whether or not it will actually happen yet shows almost no discontentment at all. He just goes through the motions of his day, the same day he has had thousands of times before. In fact, he feels almost serenely fortunate at the end of it because he'd managed to get hold of some extra food and smuggle a piece of scrap metal back into camp that he will be able to fashion into a tool with which earn extra rations in the future. However, he also realises that tomorrow the daily struggle to survive will resume.

“The belly is a demon. It doesn’t remember how well you treated it yesterday; it’ll cry out for more tomorrow.”

Solzhenitsyn writes from personal experience, he spent eight years in the gulag. The simplicity of this tale makes it a remarkable piece of powerful writing that shines a spotlight on an important piece of social history as well as being a history maker in itself. As such it deserves to be regarded as a classic.
… (more)
PilgrimJess | 200 other reviews | Apr 2, 2024 |
I read Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago not that long ago, so although One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a fictional novel I had a fair idea of what to expect. As with the Gulag Archipelago, what's startling in Solzhenitsyn's writing is that there's never any sense of self-pity, and black humour is always bubbling just below the surface.

This novel does what it says in the title. There's little reminiscing by the protagonist of life before the camp, nor wishing away the days to freedom (for as Ivan Denisovich knows, freedom may never come, with exile likely after he finishes his ten year sentence, if indeed another sentence isn't landed on him before that one finishes). The slim novel focuses on a regular day in this inmate's life in camp and is a glimpse into the reality of what millions of Russians endured - harsh work in extreme sub-zero temperatures in inadequate clothing with a belly half-empty from meagre food rations.

Given the extreme conditions that Solzhenitsyn writes of, his style intrigued me in this novel as it did in the NF Gulag Archipelago. Such is his protagonist's lack of self-absorption in the misery that's been inflicted on him, it's not a novel that left me with a profound sense of horror about the conditions the prisoners lived in. What sticks with me more is the grit and mental toughness of Solzhenitsyn (for this novel is undoubtedly based on his own experience as a prisoner). The novel even ends with a positive reflection by Ivan Denisovich, as he lies in his cold bunk with ice on the ceiling and his legs shoved into his coat sleeves, of all the things that had gone right that day, from not falling ill as he'd thought he would at the start of the day, to some extra rations for favours and his team not getting put to the worst of the work. It's remarkable, and perhaps that's the biggest insight of all - that those who survived were the people who were able to sustain the right mentality attitude and focus throughout these long sentences.

4 stars - an enjoyable read. Perhaps it would have been more shocking to me if I'd not read Gulag Archipelago relatively recently.
… (more)
AlisonY | 200 other reviews | Mar 30, 2024 |


AP Lit (1)
1960s (1)
1970s (1)
Europe (1)
Read (1)
1950s (1)


You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Borís Pasternak Contributor
Máximo Gorki Contributor
Isaak E Bábel Contributor
Thomas P. Whitney Translator, Photographer
Max Hayward Translator, Introduction
Michael Glenny Translator
Manya Harari Translator
Harry Willets Translator
Edward E. Ericson Abridged by
Aggi Jais Translator
栗栖 継 Translator
水野 忠夫 Translator
Toyoki Ogasawara Translator
江川 卓 Translator
井上 光晴 Afterword
原 卓也 Translator
Theun de Vries Translator, Afterword
Katherine Shonk Introduction
Ralph Parker Translator
Leopold Labedz Introduction
Esa Adrian Translator
H. T. Willetts Translator
Dick Peet Translator
Swetlana Geier Translator, Übersetzer
Anna Peturnig Translator
Georgiĭ Zelʹma Cover photographer
Ronald Hingley Translator
Hans Korte Narrator
John Bayley Introduction
Gillon Aitken Translator
Markku Lahtela Translator
Ronald Harwood Introduction
Ernst Neizvestny Cover artist
Marvin L. Kalb Introduction
Sana Valiulina Afterword
Nicholas Bethell Translator
David Burg Translator
Monse Weijers Translator
Michael Guybon Translator
Dick Peet Translator
Ernst Walter Translator
P. de Smit Translator
Gisela Drohla Editor, Translator
Harry Willetts Translator
Odd Tufte Lund Translator
Per Egil Hegge Translator
Ingrid Tinzmann Translator
Christiane Auras Translator
Agathe Jais Translator
Herb Johnson Designer
Nataly Martin Translator
Kenneth Lantz Translator
Natalya Balnova Cover designer
Madeleine Mes Translator
D. Peet Translator
Hans Björkegren Translator
Julia Pericacho Translator
Silvia Serra Translator
Nikita Struve Translator
Helmuth Dehio Translator
Gerardo Escodín Translator
José Ardanaz Translator


Also by

Charts & Graphs