September 01, 2008

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

This May, three months before Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s death on August 3, the writer’s wife, Natalya Dmitriyevna, sat down with me to talk about her family’s life in Vermont, about Russia and U.S.-Russian relations, and about her husband’s work.   


I met Natalya Solzhenitsyn just a few blocks from the Kremlin, in her large city apartment, headquarters for the Solzhenitsyn Fund – which provides important aid to former Gulag internees, plus sponsors an annual literary prize. Her son Stephan, a business consultant, had just arrived in town as well, and he joined us in a narrow office space. The bookshelves were packed with Solzhenitsyn’s works. It was in this very room in 1974, that Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was arrested and sent into exile, eventually ending up in Vermont, where he and his family lived for 17 years. 

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