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Author, Russian, Exile, Vermonter: The Life And Writing of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Newly exiled Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Kazakhstan in 1953 (left); Solzhenitsyn  with his sons in Cavendish in August 1976; Solzhenitsyn at his self-made writing table in Cavendish during the 1980s.
Cavendish Historical Society, courtesy
Newly exiled Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Kazakhstan in 1953 (left); Solzhenitsyn with his sons in Cavendish in August 1976; Solzhenitsyn at his self-made writing table in Cavendish during the 1980s.

His novels earned him the 1970 Nobel Prize in literature and exile from the Soviet Union, but in Vermont Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is also know for the nearly 20 years he lived and worked in the town of Cavendish. We're looking at the Russian writer's works, his time in the state and what his novels say to readers in 2018.

This year marks 100 years since Solzhenitsyn's birth on Dec. 11, 1918, and 10 years since his death on Aug. 8, 2008 at age 89.

He credited the Cavendish community for helping to protect his privacy during his exile in Vermont starting in 1976 — allowing him to continue his writing before returning to post-Soviet Russia in the mid-1990s.

Margot Caulfield, director of the Cavendish Historical Society and author of the young adult biography of Solzhenitsyn, The Writer Who Changed History, joins Vermont Edition to discuss the author's time in Cavendish.

Plus, Kevin McKenna, a Russian language and literature professor at the University of Vermont, discusses his research into the Russian writer and his path to fame, exile, and eventual return to his home country.

You can learn more about Solzhenitsyn at McKenna's Vermont Humanities talk on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier.

Broadcast live on Monday, May 14, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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