The Russian novelist won a Nobel Prize in 1970 and was kicked out of the USSR in 1974. On 24 June 1974 I write
Solzhenitsyn is…in my opinion, Possibly the most gifted and talented writer that Russia has produced in the 20th century and possibly the number one writer living in the world today. He has immense and exhilarating power which is typical, indeed symbolic, of so many Russian artists, whether in music [Shostakovich] arts or literature. It is at times poetic and metaphysical and surrealist and mystical all at the same time yet he manages, within a book of some 500 pages, to keep the many and varied characters alive and to maintain the readers interest. As the book progresses, I find that I become the book, I become the characters because, I become Solzhenitsyn!