Book Reviews

Book Review: Stories and Prose Poems

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn is considered by many literary critics one of the best Russian writers, if not the best, and was in 1970 awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

His writing is always lucid and clear, reflecting the Soviet officialdom and ordinary citizens.

Stories and prose Poems contains 22 stories and prose poems of wide ranging styles and characters that showcase the his extraordinary mastery of language. When the two stories “Matryona’s House” and “An Incident at Krechetovka Sation” were first published In Russian in 1960 The Moscow Literary Gazette, the mouthpiece of the Soviet literary establishment was effusive in its prize.

Both stories tell how the Soviet system favoured bureaucrats and party apparatchiks, how the population tries to bribe then, or circumvent their unjust and confusing decisions.

Although, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn was prized by Soviet officialdom in 1970, but four years later exiled, but he eventually retuned to Moscow and died in 2008.

Stories and prose Poems, six short stories and 16 prose poems contain not only a lot of information, but also morals that ordinary citizens and officials should ideally follow to make the society function well, just and equal as the 1917 revolution intended.

Highly recommended.

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