Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born into a family of Cossack intellectuals in Kislovodsk, Russia, in 1918. He fought for the Soviet Union in World War II, achieving the rank of captain of artillery. In 1945 he was arrested for writing a letter in which he criticized Joseph Stalin and spent eight years in prisons and labor camps. In 1956 he was allowed to settle in Ryazan, in central Russia, where he became a mathematics teacher and began to write. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. Following the publication of the first volume of The Gulag Archipelago, he was exiled in 1974. His Soviet citizenship was restored in 1990 and he returned to Russia in 1994, where he now lives.