Cancer Ward

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Random House, Oct 31, 2011 - Fiction - 576 pages
18 Reviews

‘Solzhenitsyn is one of the towering figures of the age, as a writer, as moralist, as hero’ Edward Crankshaw

After years in enforced exile on the Kazakhstan steppes, a cancer diagnosis brings Oleg Kostoglotov to Ward 13. Brutally treated in squalid conditions, and faced with ward staff and other patients from across the Soviet Union, Kostoglotov finds himself thrown once again into the gruelling mechanics of a state still haunted by Stalinism.

One of the great allegorical masterpieces of world literature, Cancer Ward is both a deeply compassionate study of people facing terminal illness and a brilliant dissection of the “cancerous” Soviet police state. Withdrawn from publication in Russia in 1964, it became, along with One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, a work that awoke the conscience of the world.

 

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User Review  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

It had been a while since I read something from the bookslut 100 list, so I picked this book up and it blew me away. What is this book about? What isn't it about? It takes place in a cancer ward in a ... Read full review

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User Review  - Fluffyblue - LibraryThing

The book started well for me, and was far more interesting and easy to read than I expected it to be, however is it went along I struggled to maintain an interest in the characters. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in 1918 and grew up in Rostov-on-Don. He graduated in physics and mathematics from Rostov University and studied literature by correspondence course at Moscow University. In World War II he fought as an artillery officer, attaining the rank of captain. In 1945, however, after making derogatory remarks about Stalin in a letter, he was arrested and summarily sentenced to eight years in forced labour camps, followed by internal exile. In 1957 he formally rehabilitated, and settled down to teaching and writing. The publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in Novy Mir in 1962 was followed by publication, in the West, of his novels Cancer Ward and The First Circle. In 1970 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and in 1974 his citizenship was revoked and he was expelled from the Soviet Union. He settled in Vermont and worked on his great historical cycle The Red Wheel. In 1990, with the fall of Soviet Communism, his citizenship was restored and four years later he returned to settle in Russia.

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