Set in a 'sharashka,' a special kind of Soviet prison reserved for the highly educated and talented prisoners lucky enough to be needed by the Soviet government, In the First Cirle
is considered Solzhenitsyn's fictional masterpiece. Written in the 1950s just after Solzhenitsyn's eight years in the gulag, his nearly fatal bout with cancer, and his exile to Kazakhstan, it was originally edited by Soviet censors, who cut nine full chapters and many 'objectionable' scenes. Here for the first time is the complete, definitive edition, translated by Solzhenitsyn's most trusted translator, Harry T. Willetts. Unlike prisoners of other hard labor camps, the inmates are adequately fed and given basic, human priviledges. When a new prisoner arrives from the work camps, he thinks he has been miraculously transported to heaven: dinner includes bread and butter; shaving and reading are permitted. In response to his wonder, a long-time prisoner replies, 'No... you are, just as you were previously, in hell. But you have risen to its best and highest circle-the first circle.' Solzhenitsyn crafts a number of plausible, internally consistent characters-highly educated men discussing ideas with a freedom that was denied not only to other prisoners within the Gulag, but also to most members of Soviet society. The novel's central conflict centers on each character's decision to either aid the repressive Soviet state or refuse and risk transfer to the Siberia, and likely death. 784 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
The thrilling cold war masterwork by the nobel prize winner, published in full for the first time
Moscow, Christmas Eve, 1949.The Soviet secret police intercept a call made to the American embassy by a Russian diplomat who promises to deliver secrets about the nascent Soviet Atomic Bomb program. On that same day, a brilliant mathematician is locked away inside a Moscow prison that houses the country's brightest minds. He and his fellow prisoners are charged with using their abilities to sleuth out the caller's identity, and they must choose whether to aid Joseph Stalin's repressive state--or refuse and accept transfer to the Siberian Gulag camps . . . and almost certain death.
First written between 1955 and 1958, In the First Circle is Solzhenitsyn's fiction masterpiece. In order to pass through Soviet censors, many essential scenes--including nine full chapters--were cut or altered before it was published in a hastily translated English edition in 1968. Now with the help of the author's most trusted translator, Harry T. Willetts, here for the first time is the complete, definitive English edition of Solzhenitsyn's powerful and magnificent classic.