The Gulag Archipelago (1973) is a literary account of the Soviet labour camps known as gulags that existed between 1918 and 1956. Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn gives a chilling account of life in the gulags, drawing on his own history as an inmate as well as the accounts, memoirs, and letters of hundreds of others, while also charting the psychology and organisation behind the government-sanctioned penal regime.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008) was a Russian writer who wrote several novels, including One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962) and Cancer Ward (1968), and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. He was a vocal opponent of the Soviet government who was jailed from 1945 to 1953 for making disparaging remarks about Josef Stalin. He spent 20 years in exile from the Soviet Union, beginning in 1974, and living in West Germany and America. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1994, he was eventually allowed to return.