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VARLAM SHALAMOV (1907-1982) was born in Vologda and was training as a lawyer at Moscow State University when he was arrested first for distributing copies of Lenin's Testament, which sharply criticized Stalin, and then again later in 1937 during the Great Purge. He suffered through 15 years hard labor in Kolyma. After his release in 1953, he began work on The Kolyma Tales, a monumental collection of short stories of life in the camps. It was published abroad in the 1970s and in the Soviet Union in 1987.