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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 13:30 EDT

Russian Writer Solzhenitsyn Dead at 89

August 3, 2008

Once exiled Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose works revealed the harshness of the Soviet penal system, has died, his son said Sunday. He was 89.

Russian media reported the writer’s son Stepan said Solzhenitsyn, who had been ill for years, died at his Moscow-area home of either a stroke or heart failure, the BBC said.

Solzhenitsyn, who wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, was awarded a Nobel Prize for literature in 1970. He was exiled in 1974 and didn’t return until 1994.

Solzhenitsyn, a decorated Soviet artillery officer in World War II, nonetheless was denounced for criticizing Soviet leader Josef Stalin in a letter, the British network noted. He spent eight years in a prison, or gulag, before being exiled to Kazakhstan.