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One Day in the Life of
Ivan Denisovich
narrated by Frank Muller
by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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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