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One Day in the Life of
Ivan Denisovich


by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1962)

Today was a red-letter day for him: two helpings for dinner, two helpings for supper."

In addition, Ivan Denisovich also wrangled six extra ounces of bread, a biscuit, two lumps of sugar, and enough tobacco for a couple cigarettes. Thus this particular day in 1951, in the eighth year of Ivan Denisovich's ten-year sentence to a work camp in Siberia was a good one. Despite laboring ten hours in subzero weather, despite standing around in the freezing cold for repeated prisoner counts, and despite all sorts of petty harassment from guards and trusties.

Solzhenitsyn wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in order to depict a single day in the life of an ordinary Siberian work-camp prisoner. Via an odd confluence of events , Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union at the time, authorized its publication in 1962. Publication had the effect "of a political bomb. It took millions of stunned readers--Soviet and foreign--behind the barbed wire, dissecting for them the horrible life of daily self-genocide."

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CLASSIC LITERATURE CAN BE CHALLENGING FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (SOMETIMES), BUT IF YOU FEEL AMBITIOUS, PLEASE GIVE THESE BOOKS A TRY — THERE ARE VERY GOOD REASONS THEY ARE CONSIDERED 'CLASSICS'.

—19th Century Classics—
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen  (1813)
Emma
Jane Austen  (1815)
Frankenstein
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1831)
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens (1843)
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë (1847)
Vanity Fair
William Makepeace Thackeray (1847-1848)
David Copperfield
by Charles Dickens (1850)
Hard Times
by Charles Dickens (1854)
Madame Bovary
by Gustave Flaubert (1856)
A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens (1859)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll  (1865)
Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoyevsky  (1866)
The Gambler
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1867)
Little Women
Louisa May Alcott(1868)
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy  (1869)
The Way We Live Now
by Anthony Trollope (1875)
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy  (1877)
Three Men in a Boat
by Jerome K. Jerome  (1889)
Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde (1890)
The Woman in White
by Wilkie Collins (1889-1890)
Dracula
by Bram Stoker (1897)
The Turn of the Screw
Henry James  (1898)
The Awakening
Kate Chopin  (1899)
—20th Century Classics—
White Fang
by Jack London (1906)
Anne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maud Montgomery (1908)
A Room with a View
by E.M. Forster (1908)
Howards End
by E.M. Forster (1910)
Demian
Hermann Hesse  (1919)
Winesburg, Ohio
by Sherwood Anderson (1919)
Main Street
by Sinclair Lewis (1920)
The Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton (1920)
The Red House Mystery
by A.A. Milne (1922)
An American Tragedy
by Theodore Dreiser (1925)
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald  (1925)
The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway  (1926)
A Farewell to Arms
by Ernest Hemingway (1929)
All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque (1929)
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley  (1932)
Tender Is the Night
F. Scott Fitzgerald  (1934)
It Can't Happen Here
Sinclair Lewis  (1935)
In Dubious Battle
by John Steinbeck (1936)
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway  (1940)
Animal Farm
George Orwell  (1945)
Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn Waugh  (1945)
1984
George Orwell  (1949)
The Catcher in The Rye
J.D. Salinger  (1951)
The Old Man and the Sea
Ernest Hemingway
  (1952)
Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury (1953)
Lord of the Flies
William Golding  (1954)
The Once and Future King
T.H. White  (1938-1941; 1958)
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee  (1960)
Catch-22
Joseph Heller  (1961)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Ken Kesey  (1962)
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