Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in Russia in 1918. He fought in the second World War, but was arrested for criticizing Joseph Stalin (the leader of the Soviet Union at the time) and spent 11 years in labor camps and exile (1945-1956.) His books, including The Gulag Archipelago, tell about his experiences. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. (Bio.)
The book One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich was written by Solzhenitsyn based on his experience in the gulag camp (a special forced labor camp) and was the first work of its type to appear in post-Stalin Russia. He was sent to the camp for writing a derogatory comment about Stalin in a letter to a friend, and stayed in camp for 11 years, and also had three years of exile. He had the novel published in 1960. In 1964, restrictions on cultural activities were reinstated and he had to resort to publishing through underground means. However, he was still very popular and international publishers released his work. After publishing The First Circle and Cancer Ward, Solzhenitsyn the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.