*In the First Circle*

I was reading Solzhenitsyn’s novel during my time in Brazil and I believe he has become oddly underrated.  He is too often viewed as a historical artifact rather than as one of his century’s best writers.  Here was one of my favorite passages from what is perhaps his best novel (Cancer Ward is another favorite):

“My husband’s been in prison nearly five years,” she said.  “And before that he was at the front…”

“That doesn’t count,” the woman retorted.  “Being at the front isn’t the same thing!  Waiting is easy then!  Everybody else is waiting too.  You can talk about it openly; you can read his letters to people.  But when you have to wait and keep quiet about him, that’s something else.”


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