The First Circle
Author: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Thomas P. Whitney
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Release Date: November 12, 1997
Set in Moscow during a three-day period in December 1949, 'The First Circle' is the story of the prisoner Gleb Nerzhin, a brilliant mathematician.
At the age of thirty-one, Nerzhin has survived the war years on the German front and the postwar years in a succession of Russian prisons and labor camps.
His story is interwoven with the stories of a dozen fellow prisoners - each an unforgettable human being - from the prison janitor to the tormented Marxist intellectual who designed the Dnieper dam; of the reigning elite and their conflicted subordinates; and of the women, wretched or privileged, bound to these men.
A landmark of Soviet literature, 'The First Circle' is as powerful today as it was when it was first published, nearly thirty years ago.