02 August 2009
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
I read this book for a new book group I'm starting for church with another woman. We were looking for something short since we wanted to get the first meeting scheduled soon, and when she suggested this one, I thought I'd like to read it. It wasn't till later that I thought we were probably the only two in the group who might be interested, since she lived in Russian for a couple of years and has a degree in Russian and I'm obviously interested. So we'll see if anyone else reads it too and pick something a little different for next month.
Anyway. Even though I read a lot about Siberia, I've read almost nothing about the gulag (which surprises many people, since Siberia and the gulag are the same thing to so many). I think, for a book like this, that it's very accessible to someone who doesn't know Russian, or Soviet history, or Russian literature. It was worth reading and I'm looking forward to the discussion (hopefully with more than one other person). Sometimes I don't like fictionalized accounts of events/times like this (Revolution is Not a Dinner Party is one example), but Solzhenitsyn is such a good author that that wouldn't be a problem.