Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, Russia, in 1918. A twice-decorated captain in the Soviet Army, he was stripped of his rank, arrested, and convicted in 1945 for privately criticizing Stalin. Exiled from the USSR in 1974, Solzhenitsyn eventually settled in the United States before returning to his homeland twenty years later. Among his other acclaimed works are the novels One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The First Circle. His literary awards include the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Medal of Honor for Literature.