It is now 50 years since this novel was first published. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was writing at the same time as Urszula Muskus was compiling her account of 10 years in the gulags. They had both been in gulags near Karaganda. Her deportation from Poland also included 2 years forced labour on the collective farms and 4 years eternal exile in Siberia.
Solzhenitsyn’s book became a world wide best seller while Muskus’s manuscript languished on a shelf in the family home until a publisher was found by her grandson in 2010. If it had been published as soon as it was written I am confident that it would have been as well known as One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Now it is inspiring those who read it.