A NovelFSG Classics
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; Translated by Nicholas Bethell and David F. Burg
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Cancer Ward examines the relationship of a group of people in the cancer ward of a provincial Soviet hospital in 1955, two years after Stalin's death. We see them under normal circumstances, and also reexamined at the eleventh hour of illness. Together they represent a remarkable cross-section of contemporary Russian characters and attitudes. The experiences of the central character, Oleg Kostoglotov, closely reflect the author's own: Solzhenitsyn himself became a patient in a cancer ward in the mid-1950s, on his release from a labor camp, and later recovered. Translated by Nicholas Bethell and David Burg.
Praise for Cancer Ward
“A literary event of the first magnitude.” —Time
“The most moving of Solzhenitsyn's novels.” —Clifton Fadiman
“Solzhenitsyn's characteristic strategy for subduing space is to temporize it--to transform it into time . . . This transformation of space into time allows Solzhenitsyn to present a variegated group of people who are caught in a collective situation of relative isolation by following the through their daily routine . . . These forcibly restricted milieus provide a natural and persuasive metaphor for life itself . . . How or why Solzhenitsyn is able to succeed . . . I do not know . . . It is probably finally a matter of genius--which is to say, mystery. But the novels rise above the questions they propound and serve--as great literature always has done--to be both a challenge to and a triumph for the free spirit of man wherever it allows itself to exist.” —Earl Rovit, American Scholar-