Cancer Ward Author:Alexander Solzhenitsyn The publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in 1962 made the name of Alexander Solzhenitsyn famous all over the world. A well-known Russian writer said, "After this we cannot go on writing as before." Yet the main body of Solzhenitsyn's work remains unpublished, banned by the Soviet authorities. The author himself considers Cancer ... more »Ward his most important novel. Its publication is an event of major importance, and it show beyond doubt that Solzhenitsyn is the greatest living Russian prose writer.
The novel portrays the relationships of a group of people in the cancer ward of a provincial Soviet hospital. We see them under normal circumstances, and also reexamined at the eleventh hour of illness. Together they represent a remarkable cross-section of contemporary Russian characters and attitudes. The experiences of the central character, Oleg Kostoglotov, closely reflect the author's own: Solzhenitsyn himself became a patient in a cancer ward in the mid-1950's, on his release from a concentration camp, and later recovered.« less