I would have to agree with Tim Bray: Aleksander Isayevich was an influential writer for me. Funny to think about my past reading habits. I grew up in a house where reading (and reading a lot) was just the norm. I constantly read. I remember my mother having to come into my room and turn off the lights past midnight as I was still reading. As I was not a good listener (surprise, surprise) my mother went as far as banning having lights on past a certain hour. Of course that was easily remedied with a flashlight and a cover!
All this to say that the year I picked up One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was transformational for me. I remember reading it and thinking this is amazing, this is amazing…And I was just a kid. I go back to the book every once in a while and I never get tired of reading it. It should be on your bookshelf if it isn’t already.
As I grew up I did not agree with most of Solzhenitsyn’s views but as Tim Bray said so nicely: "But the silly things artists often say shouldn’t be held against the works they leave behind them". I will miss Solzhenitsyn’s writing.