Daunting in size, yes, but these stories are short, and read like brutal Russian parables. But they aren't. They're based on his 17 years of suffering under the abysmal conditions of the gulag—THIS BOOK IS ICE COLD! -- Recommended by Jared
In 1936, Varlam Shalamov, a journalist and writer, was arrested for counterrevolutionary activities and sent to the Soviet Gulag. Kolyma Stories, a masterpiece of twentieth-century literature, is an epic array of short fictional tales reflecting the fifteen years that Varlam Shalamov spent in the Soviet Gulag. This is the first of two volumes (the second to appear in 2019) that together will constitute the first complete English translation of Shalamov's stories and the only one to be based on the authorized Russian text.
Shalamov spent six years as a slave in the gold mines of Kolyma before finding a less intolerable life as a paramedic in the prison camps. He began writing his account of life in Kolyma after Stalin’s death in 1953. His stories are at once the biography of a rare survivor, a historical record of the Gulag, and a literary work of unparalleled creative power, insight, and conviction.