Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian writer living in exile, has been awarded the 1990 state prize by the Russian republic for his history of the Soviet prison camp system, “The Gulag Archipelago.”
The daily Sovyetskaya Rossiya newspaper, voice of the Russian republic, announced the prize today in the latest enticement to get Solzhenitsyn to return from exile in the United States and live in Russia. Solzhenitsyn lives in Cavendish, Vt.
Sergei Zalygin, editor of the prestigious Novy Mir monthly that has been publishing “The Gulag Archipelago,” said: “With all my heart, I congratulate the great writer on receiving this prize.”
Solzhenitsyn, who was exiled in 1974 by Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev for refusing to compromise with authorities, has said he will return to his homeland only when all his works are published there.
Vadim Borisov, who acts as Solzhenitsyn’s literary agent in the Soviet Union, has said that a seven-volume collection of Solzhenitsyn’s works will be published as a supplement by the Novy Mir monthly.
Solzhenitsyn’s citizenship was restored this year by a decree of Mikhail S. Gorbachev, but the Nobel Prize-winning writer said that treason charges made against him in 1974 must be dropped before he considers returning to his homeland.
“The Gulag Archipelago,” which chronicles the history of the Soviet labor camp system, was anathema under Brezhnev because it blamed state founder Vladimir I. Lenin for laying the basis for the gulag.
Now that Lenin himself has come to be criticized under the glasnost of Gorbachev, Solzhenitsyn’s works have been accepted.