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 Monday, 6 January, 2003, 13:22 GMT
Solzhenitsyn improving in hospital
Alexander Solzhenitsyn in 1994
Solzhenitsyn: Still writing in his hospital bed
Nobel Prize-winning Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn is improving in hospital after being treated for high blood pressure, according to latest reports.

Solzhenitsyn, 84, whose books famously chronicled life in Soviet labour camps, was admitted to a central Moscow hospital towards the end of December, the Solzhenitsyn Foundation said.

It said he had spent the past few days there and was "already feeling better".

Conflicting reports from Russian news agencies had suggested the writer was suffering from - variously - a stroke, hypertension or angina.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn in 2000
Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia in 1994
However, the foundation said his condition was not serious and he had been admitted to hospital for "preventative" work.

A spokesman for the Russian Public Foundation told the Itar-Tass agency his condition was "satisfactory".

He said Solzhenitsyn continued working while he was inside Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital.

Expelled

Solzhenitsyn became known around the world in the 1970s for his descriptions of hard labour in such novels as A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn in 2000
Solzhenitsyn is still critical of Russia's rulers
He spent 20 years in the west after being expelled from the former Soviet Union in 1974, and is still an active writer.

Since his return to Russia in 1994, the reclusive writer has occasionally surfaced to criticise the country's rocky transition to capitalism.

Moscow authorities gave him an allotment in the village of Troitse-Lykovo, near Moscow, where he is living with his wife Natalya.

Their three adult sons, Yermolai, Ignat and Stepan, often visit their parents on their countryside estate.

The second issue of Solzhenitsyn's latest work, Together for Two Hundred Years: 1795-1995, was published late last year.

It is devoted to the history of relations between the Jews and ethnic Russians in Russia over the past 200 years.

See also:

19 Nov 02 | Media reports
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