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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Invisible Allies

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn : Main Page | Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, R.I.P., Dec. 11, 1918 - Aug. 3, 2008 | the Essential Solzhenitsyn | Thought Provoking Quotes by Solzhenitsyn | Early Life: Solzhenitsyn an Instant Celebrity | Solzhenitsyn : Opponent of Repressive Government Policies | Solzhenitsyn Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature | Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Charged with Treason | Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn : Books and Reviews | Fyodor Dostoyevsky | Aleksandr Pushkin | Isaac Asimov

Invisible Allies

Their number grew to more than 100; they had code names such as the Queen, Dandelion, the Badger, these invisible allies who formed Solzhenitsyn's secret channel in the U.S.S.R. before he was expelled. They made copies of his manuscripts, microfilmed and helped hide them, distributed them through samizdat and performed other services. They were courageous, if not always cautious, as when Elizaveta Denisovna preserved a manuscript copy Solzhenitsyn wanted destroyed, was interrogated by the KGB, then either was killed or committed suicide. In The Oak and the Calf, Solzhenitsyn's 1980 memoir of his underground life, she was identified as Q. Now, without endangering lives, he reveals these allies. Prominent among them is Elena Chukovskaya, granddaughter of famed children's writer Kornie Chukovsky, who for the first part of this book is the unnamed half of the pair Solzhenitsyn refers to as "we." Then, in 1969, the inner circle expanded to include Natalya Svetlova, Alya, who would become Solzhenitsyn's wife (and whose former husband would join the brigade of invisible allies along with other such surprising folk as a nun in the French embassy in Moscow). This memoir was written at the same time as Oak; it formed the subplot of that book, but it is really the plot. The Solzhenitsyn met here is less bombastic than his reputation. He may describe himself as a "wilful old bear," but the streak of sentimentality running through these pages as he recreates the excruciating stresses of his conspiratorial life is humanizing. 30,000 first printing. --Publishers Weekly

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel Prize winner, is described by many a mind as a literary genius whose extraordinary talent matches that of Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Pushkin and Gorky. Biography, quotes, photos, news articles, books and reviews.

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